Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wallowing - let's humiliate those prisoners all over again

Fox News yesterday reported about Petraeus' desire to release all interrogation-related photos.


We have "international" interests in Europe demanding war crimes trials against former President George W. Bush, and Obama says, "Why not! Makes sense to me!" Kick 'em when they're down (song Dirty Laundry).

We have the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) holding the US Government to a higher standard - the Constitution - to avoid, prevent, and redress erosions of liberty delimited in the Constitution. The ACLU wants to assure that humane treatment of all prisoners is the only treatment anyone with prisoners employ. Because "enemies" and "necessary to get information" are incredibly slippery moral slopes. Once used, they can be used when they are "almost" as "necessary".

We have various members of Congress and the Media looking for "hooks" to advance their career. And interrogation is often gaudy enough to make news that sells lots of soap. Remember - reporting the "news" is not about public service - it is presented to make a profit, and advance careers.

While those people that have been incarcerated have suffered - many of the Islamic prisoners have additional cause for grievance. The security measures needed to deal with hardened warriors, fanatically dedicated to a cause or hatred of the US (or both!) are far removed from what Andy Griffith encountered on Mayberry, RFD.

Showing pictures of those detained for terrorist or other attacks on America and Americans, or conspiring in attacks on the US - revives their subjugation to their hated enemies, and exposes their failures and defeats to their family and honored figures of authority.

We repeat our acts against them by showing their pictures. We no longer dig up graves of Native Americans for the "quaint" weapons and pottery. We need to be careful about resurrecting what necessary security measures did to detainees.

Releasing such photos as came out of Abu Ghraib and have been released about Guantanamo Bay verge on titillation, feed division and prejudice on all sides of any question. And they perpetrate an unwarranted, public attack on the offended detainees.

Some few of those targeted as enemies of the US are hardened, experience, and very capable warriors. Their strength of body and dedication to harming the US and Americans are the result of years of dedication, toil, and belief. Keeping such people incarcerated, in a fashion that minimizes the chance they will harm or kill themselves or others, is a Herculean task. The measures taken are often hateful to the prisoners. I can see nothing good coming from making photos and descriptions of treatment taken out of context, and exploited will-he, nil-he in public.

Most of the people detained warrant, by their actions and credible evidence before, during, and since their capture, treatment using extraordinary "high security" tactics and procedures. Let us not compound the effect on those people by using them to flog others for political gain or mere ratings ambition.

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