Friday, February 23, 2007


Happily coinciding with DD's torture and 24 column over at el Reg was HBO's Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. It was well-reviewed just about everywhere by various TV critics. One example is here at the Indianapolis Star.

I watched Ghosts last night and while it was everything previews promised, it was turned off about two-thirds through. By this time I've seen more than enough of the Janis Karpinski speaking tour. The ex-dean at Abu Ghraib Torture U, Karpinski has flogged it, according to the Internet movie database, appearing on comedy talk shows and radio (The Daily Show, Bill Maher, and the Al Franken show), in addition to Iraq documentaries.

Please, no more Janis, no more Megan Ambuhl, no more Sabrina Harman, the latter so brainless and morally dead she hadn't the common sense to know playing smile for the camera over a man who has just been beaten to death constituted a couple of atrocities.

Pretty much absent are any people who had the guts to say "I won't do it, I'm going to blow the lid on this and if you try anything you'll have to torture or kill me, too."

Take them to the glue factory and put 'em all down to prevent even more book contracts and movies for being pieces of excrement. No more of slippery John Yoo explaining that the newfangled war on terror meant it had to be OK to suspend the rights of anyone captured unless someone gets to smack the man in the teeth with a baseball bat after he says it.

Once again it reminded me of the London ricin trial. During long telephone conversations across the world, as evidence was reviewed, I recall asking my colleague where all the allegedly scary hearsay on the defendants being part of a Wood Green poison factory allied to al Qaeda was coming from. Mohammed Meguerba, was the answer, a police informant who had been tortured in Algeria and who later recanted it. Of course, Meguerba never testified at the trial and when it came time to tell the US newsmedia, no one wanted to hear any of it. And we tried, coming to the conclusion that it would have to be published at GlobalSecurity.Org before anyone else went to press. When the paltry few in the US newsmedia did get to publishing, it simply repeated the bad information from Meguerba.

Looking back through this blog's archives, a couple more pieces on torture:

The tortured debate on torture.

Ugly details from a Senate report.


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