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Monday, May 16, 2005

Old News

Asinine, uninformed comment of the day (and there are so many):

I really think that calling Newsweek's blunder "the press's Abu Ghraib" is unfair to the low-lifes who carried out the Abu Ghraib abuses. After all, they didn't even hurt anyone, let alone kill them. And the people they abused were almost certainly terrorists. One can't say the same for the people who were murdered in the riots that foreseeably followed Newsweek's story.

Hindquarter, Powerline

Except, except.... Highpockets, here's what your pal Lawrence DeRita had to say:

"The nature of where these things occurred, how quickly they occurred, the nature of individuals who were involved in it, suggest that they may be organized events that are using this alleged allegation as a pretext for activity that was already planned," said DiRita.

No kidding.

(I'm not even going to address the ridiculous assertion that the Abu Ghraib prisoners were terrorists. He needs to do some homework on that subject. Suffice to say that repeating anything that the addlepated James Inhofe says is always a mistake.)

To any of us who were closely following the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo story last summer, this Koran in the toilet thing is old news. Really old news. I wrote a lot about General Geoffrey Ripper and the interrogation techniques down there, and in the course of reading all the informatin that was coming out about Gitmo at the time, it was glaringly obvious that religious desecration was on the menu. (Juan Cole points out in his post this morning that this may actually be a standard US military training technique.)

When the first four British detainees were released, they made some claims that sounded ridiculous. The stuff about desecration of the Koran hardly raised an eyebrow by comparison to the wildly improbable assertion that American women were rubbing menstrual blood all over detainees to get them to talk. How could you believe anything they said when they made up crazy shit like that, right? Right.

What's so phony about the right wing explosion on this issue is that as Arthur Silber points out in this indispensible post, is that it's not as if the Muslim world wasn't already well aware of this practice. Detainees have been released and they have talked. As far back as December 2003, when Vanity Fair published David Rose's expose of Guantanamo (sorry, not online), it was known that throughout the Muslim world, Gitmo was seen as an abomination. And it was known that practices in Guanmtanamo were creating more terrorism and more violence than they stopped:

One senior defense intelligence source gives a grim assessment of the camp's backlash potential: "It's an international public-relations disaster. Maybe the guy who goes into Gitmo does so as a farmer who got swept along and did very little. He's going to come out a full-fledged jihadist. And for every detainee, I'd guess you create another 10 terrorists or supporters of terrorism."

The miracle is that the riots didn't come much sooner. Guantanamo is the greatest recruiting tool in the jihadist arsenal and our absurd insistence on keeping it going (even though it has long since been shown to be nothing more than a puerile expression of national rage) turns us from simple over-reactors into stubborn fascists and self-defeating idiots.

David Rose, in his recent book based upon the Vanity Fair reporting, called "Guantanamo: The War On Human Rights" says:

Across the middle east, those pictures of the newly-arrived detainees kneeling in the dirt in their shackles have become a trope for cartoonists and pamphleteers, a graphic rendition of oppression which speaks to millions of Muslims. The unjust suffering of families and individuals engendered by this aspect of "Operation Enduring Freedom" is sowing dragons’ teeth, turning moderates into fanatics determined to smite the west.

On Islamist websites and in the Arab press, Guantánamo is cited time and again as a rallying point for jihad, as a justification for creating more suicide "martyrs".

This little item in Newsweak is a pretext for action against interrogation techniques that are already well known. Which is why the quasi retraction over the week-end is such a chickenshit display of cowardice on the part of Newsweak. This is old news to anybody who's been paying attention. The jihadists know it, those of us following the story know it and the government certainly knows it. The riots last week in Afghanistan and now around the world are orchestrated to gin up support and their followers are already pissed off enough about this stuff to get with the program quite easily.

Of course, as Silber says, this is probably going to end up being just another scalping party. And until the mainstream media cares about being played and used, the shrill shrieking harpies of the right wing noise machine will continue to treat them like the lackeys they are ... and make examples of some of them every once in a while to keep everybody in line.

This will teach the media to report any more stories about fun loving hijinks and calling them torture. The Blog of the Year is on to you, MSM killers.