“On Monday, the first American war crimes trial in since World War II opened at Guantanamo, the United States presenting its case against Salim Ahmed Hamdan before a jury of US military officers. Hamdan, who at the time of 9/11 was Osama bin Laden’s driver, is charged with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism. Two surface-to-air missiles were found in a car he was driving – he says it was a borrowed vehicle and that he had no idea what was in the trunk. The judge has thrown out confessions Hamdan made in Afghanistan after his capture. ‘The interests of justice are not served by admitting these statements,’ the judge said, ‘because of the highly coercive environments and conditions under which they were made.’ Hamdan was bound for long periods of time, with a bag over his head.
“You will know us by the company we keep. The burners of witches and the medieval masters of thumbscrews and Iron Maidens, the interrogators of the Spanish inquisition, the North Vietnamese soldiers who beat John McCain and his fellow American prisoners of war into false confessions. We have joined their ranks. In the almost seven years since 9/11, we have countered terror not only with vigilance and war but fear, imprisonment without due process and yes, torture.
“Torture is no more about learning the truth than rape is about sex. Both are about the violent abuse of power.”
Michael Winship: The Company We Keep, Bill Moyers Blog, July 28, 2008
It ain’t right. It just ain’t right.