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December 17, 2006


This has been stuck in my head a lot lately:

"My greatest fear was that the Bush administration would simply forget about the prisoners, in the vain hope the world would too. In time, the country would turn its attention elsewhere. Eventually, the prisoners would settle into the mind-numbing routine that characterizes prison life everywhere. Nameless and faceless, lost to a world that would gradually grow indifferent, the men and boys at Camp Delta would be left, in the words of Albert Camus, to 'drift through life rather than live, the prey of aimless days and sterile memories'."

--Joseph Margulies, Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power, p. 131.

It is a cramped little state with no foreign policy
. Ok, a once-great nation with no sane foreign policy.

Katherine, I hope you won't think I'm making light of the situaton when I say that I read your quote and then immediately heard in my mind's ear Arlo Guthrie saying "But when we got to the station, there was a third possibility we hadn't even counted upon..."

Not offended but don't get the connection either. Is that from Alice's Restaurant?

On a semi-related note, Maher Arar remains on the US terrorist watch list:

Despite the findings of a Canadian inquiry that concluded Arar was deported to Syria based on erroneous information provided to the U.S. from the RCMP, David Wilkins said the Syrian-born Canadian will remain on a security watch list.

"Mr. Arar's original removal from the United States in 2002 was based on information from a variety of sources, as is his current watch list status," Wilkins said in a statement.

Wilkins noted Friday that Justice Dennis O'Connor, the head of the Arar inquiry, acknowledged he did not know about everything in Arar's American file.

It is true that O'Connor didn't know everything in the US file. But I'm pretty sure that the 'evidence' to which Wilkins refers, to the extent that it exists at all, consists of false confessions that two other Canadian citizens made while being tortured in Syria.

I suppose it's bad form to simply link a>comment at another forum, but I really have to run.

Yes, Katherine. "Now friends, there was only one of two things Officer Olby could have done. The first was to give us a medal for being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn't very honest and we didn't we expect it, and the second was to bawl us out and tell us never to be seen hauling garbage in the vicinity again, which is what we expected. But when we got to the police station, there was a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon, and we was both immediately arrested - handcuffed, and I said, 'Olby, I don't think I can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on' and he said, 'Shut up, kid, and get in the back of the patrol car', and that's what we did."

It occurs to me that Alice's Restaurant is actually quite a good preview of this war and occupation.

This is super:

The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared.
The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.

Guantanamo must be that famous Authoritarian Libertarianism the conservatives are always defending.

Pinochet would be proud.

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