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Wing-nut Congressman on Gitmo: “Our people are doing a bang up job” Wanna Rephrase that One?

Speaking to the Fort Bend Sun after returning from a tour of Guantanamo, Representative Pete Olson, (W-N, TX) said:

“Our people are doing a bang up job,”

This comes only two days after The Guardian reported on the injuries to Binyam Mohamed, with some evidence that Mohamed’s torture at Guantanamo may have continued even after President Obama was sworn in.

Adding to the idiocy of his "bang up" comment, Olson continued to the Sun, with regard to "our people" at Guantanamo:

“We take them at their word.”

Olson must be among a very small group of those who believe the Penatagon’s own report released Monday that found Guantanamo to be in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. What is it about wing-nuts getting all excited about going to see this place? Here is a photo my wing-nut Congressman actually put on his website a few months back after he had visited. He even dressed up for the occasion and gave his best Lynndie England thumbs up:

Cliff at Gitmo

Here are some details on that fine treatment "our people" are dishing out:

In GTMO, that ego down translated down to telling the detainee that his mother and sister were whores, he was forced to wear women’s lingerie, multiple allegations of his homosexuality, he was forced to dance with a male interrogator, he was strip searched for control measures, and he was forced to perform dog tricks on a leash.

The quote above comes from this batch of documents (see 06-F-01532 doc 07 from the April 13, 2007 entry, page 6).

For a bit of contrast, compare Olson’s cheerleading with today’s comment piece in The Guardian from British MP Sarah Teather regarding Binyam Mohamed:

He has made allegations of systematic torture, and says he had up to 20 or 30 cuts made into his penis and genitalia, with chemicals poured on the wounds for extra pain. In Guantánamo, reports suggest he was routinely humiliated and abused, resulting in long periods on hunger strike in protest.


Torture is wrong, pure and simple. Civilised and democratic governments, including Britain, should have absolutely no role in a practice that is both ineffective and inhumane, and there is no excuse to put our so-called special relationship with the US before the rule of law. It is not enough to simply speak out against torture: the foreign secretary has a duty to help root out and end such practices.

Who in the US Government will stand up and make similar demands of President Obama to expose and truly end torture at Guantanamo?

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Jim White

Jim White

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