Come Saturday Morning: The Torturers Strike Back
You didn’t expect the jackbooted Jack-Bauer-worshiping sadists to go away quietly, did you?
Faced with President Obama’s order setting in motion the shutdown of Gitmo and other US-run-and-approved torture sites, the folks who in a really just world would be in the dock at The Hague are now doing a full-on, lie-driven media pushback:
In a January 22 article, the Associated Press falsely stated, "The Pentagon recently reported that 61 former prisoners at Guantanamo have returned to the fight against the U.S. and its allies." Similarly, during the 1 p.m. ET hour of the January 22 edition
of CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips asserted, "New Pentagon figures actually say 61 released detainees have been linked to some kind of terror activity." Both the AP and Phillips were discussing President Obama’s executive order requiring that the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay be closed within a year. But the Pentagon has not confirmed that 61 former Guantánamo detainees have, in the AP’s words, "returned to the fight"; that figure includes 43 former prisoners who are "suspected" of doing so.
Additionally, as Daily Kos contributing editor Joan McCarter noted, Seton Hall University School of Law professor Mark Denebeaux [sic] has disputed the Pentagon’s figures, asserting: "Once again, they’ve failed to identify names, numbers, dates, times, places, or acts upon which their report relies. Every time they have been required to identify the parties, the DOD has been forced to retract their false IDs and their numbers."
As Media Matters goes on to show, the lies are being spread far and wide by a very helpful GOP/Media Complex.
Right on cue, Lidice Logic is being invoked by everyone’s favorite would-be dictator, Rudy Giuliani, who tried and failed to use the bombing of the Twin Towers as an excuse to blow off the mayoral election and stay on as mayor. Rudy’s now waving around the case of a Yemeni who was released from Guantanamo and went on to commit crimes as a reason to keep Gitmo going. Our own Jane Hamsher’s ripped into what he said on Joe Scarborough’s Morning Joe yesterday:
It’s very very strange that on the day that President announces this, they discover a guy that was released who is killing people, heh heh heh. And I follow this issue pretty closely, and just talked to someone who has been to Guantanamo and looked at the conditions there, this is not an unusual occurrence. There have been arguably 30 or 40 situations like that where people have been released from Guantanamo, have killed innocent
people, have killed American soldiers, so we’ve got to get our hands around how dangerous the group is.
Again, no names, facts, figures from the torturemongers. Just scare statements. And a chuckle from Rudy as he contemplates the possible deaths of innocents.
Oh, and as Bob Cesca has pointed out, nobody is pushing to immediately release all of Guantanamo’s inmates; instead, they will be transferred to other prison facilities while they receive the due process that was denied them for so many years. Furthermore, as studies by Seton Hall and Amnesty International have shown, the vast majority of the detainees are almost certainly innocent. Why should Rudy and the other torturemongers fear due process that would prove this?
Sorry about this not being a straight cooking column today, folks. Tell you what — let’s talk about the foods we’d cook for the poor guys in Gitmo, if we could. (Hummus, falafel and baba ganoush should be high on the list of meals they miss.)