Courage to speak out

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2005-06-19

Senator Durbin is right, the FBI report citing the horrendous abusive treatment of some prisoners in Guantanamo does read literally like a narrative out of Solchenitzen's descriptions of the Stalinist gulag, or the experiences of some of the surviving witnesses testifying at the WW2 Nuremberg trials. If what he said about it shocks the respectability of some (Republican) senators who object to honesty in language -- he might also refer to the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition, if that would get the point across.

The torture scandal is not dead, not even past. Scores of reports from military sources, FBI reports, prisoner affidavits, ACLU and other NGO sources have become public about prisoner abuse in Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Every day brings new allegations and revelations. There are many lawsuits pending in the US and also other countries on behalf of victims of US military torture, and there is no doubt that the torture has been systemic and pervasive, and its authorization can easily be traced to the highest levels. And there is no one within the Administration or the Republican party that challenges the impunity of Secretary Rumsfeld -- who should be held accountable.

The top officials in the Administration are continuing to deny the facts, and despite the huge amount of official and documented evidence of torture, Congress shamelessly chooses to blame the messenger, instead of challenging these shameful Administration denials. The critics of Senator Durbin's statement are totally hypocritical, with spurious accusations that are merely diversionary -- (probably meant to be) since they refuse to deal with truth.

There are so few in Congress (in either party) who have the courage and honesty to speak out plainly with the facts as he has done.