Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Capt. Yee and Guantanamo Bay

I've written about the case of Capt. James Yousef Yee, who is being crucified by the U. S. military, apparently for taking his role as military chaplain too seriously and having some compassion for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The military's original case completely fell apart, so they charged him with committing adultery and viewing pornography on a government computer, charges of utter hypocrisy coming from the Pentagon. What is going on at Guantanamo Bay is actual torture, using 'stress and duress' techniques like sleep deprivation, exposure to noise, sensory deprivation, and other methods which are at least as effective as the old fashioned thumb screws (and the old fashioned kind of torture may be used as well). Such techniques will leave lasting psychological scars on the victims. Americans who accept what is being done in their names are no better than the people who condone torture in more obviously evil regimes, like Israel or Syria. To show how low America has fallen, much has been made of the fact that American officials have released some of the children held at Guantanamo. Do I hear any outcry about the imprisonment of children or the torture of prisoners of war? No. Except for a few human rights nuts (particularly in Britain, where there is concern over the treatment of British citizens), no one even seems particularly concerned about the breaches of American and international law in the way these prisoners are denied all access to proper legal representation and all access to the courts or anyone who could determine whether they are being abused. This is not surprising from a country which executes people for crimes committed as children and regards those who talk about human rights as traitors. You can look to the case of Capt. Yee to see what happens to those who give a damn.