Sunday, February 22, 2009

Follow Up on the Pentagon Gitmo Report

Glenn Greenwald wrote an excellent post today contrasting the Pentagon's report finding Gitmo compliant with the Geneva Conventions and the reality - Binyam Mohamed was beaten by guards there "right up to the point of his departure from Guantánamo Bay."

If you believe that an integral part of stomping out terrorism is the war for hearts and minds, this type of reporting has to end now. Accounts of mistreatment - the mistreatment of someone to boot that we determined we cannot try in a court - will have the same undermining effect as all other previous documents showing US brutality. The photos of Abu Ghraib showed us as monsters. Don't you think photos of a brutalized Binyam Mohamed would do the same?

Investigations should be launched into this behavior, by an outside authority. It would be one way for Obama to maintain credibility on this. But he may need the prodding of the UK government to do so, a possibility raised by former attorney general Lord Goldsmith.

It would be very interesting to know why the emergency reaction force at Guantanamo continues to behave in such a brutal manner. Did they not get the memo? Or was the memo from the top - stop torture - interpreted in a "special way" by DoD authorities for them?

In any case, some type of action is called for in this situation.

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