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March 01, 2006

The Pentagon Archipelago

Please read this by Chris Floyd. It's about an excerpt from a new book by Moazzam Begg, a British citizen who was imprisoned for three years in Afghanistan and Guantanamo:

When I read the passage below from Moazzam Begg's account of his years in Bush's Terror War prisons, I had a strange feeling of dislocation: it was as if 30 years had suddenly fallen away and I was back in high school, reading Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago in stunned disbelief at the hideous cruelty inflicted on the prisoners -- deliberately, as a carefully calculated instrument of state policy. And all of it done in the name of national security, of course, to protect the nation against "terrorists" and "traitors."

Floyd of course doesn't claim we're as bad as Stalin's Russia, but instead that we've got to stop ourselves before we take any more steps on this path:

It's no longer a matter of what crimes Americans will swallow; now the great question of the day is: what won't they swallow? They've walked this far down the road of darkness -- how much farther will they go? Will we one day need a Solzhenitsyn to catalogue our shame, our cruelty and our cowardice?

After you've read Floyd's take, the Guardian also has an article about Moazzam Begg. And then there's Begg's account itself. Here's what he writes about the mindset of his interrogators, who'd convinced themselves he was a terrorist mastermind:

It would have been funny if it hadn't been so terrifying, being in the power of these people who actually believed their own fantasies.

Begg learned about it in a particularly concrete way, but that one sentence sums up life on earth today for everyone. I may have to make it the motto of this website.

Posted at March 1, 2006 04:46 PM | TrackBack

Good God, I have just found out that the people over at "Hispanic", a slick magazine type publication of something called "Hispanic Publishing Associates, LLC" headquartered in Miami, has named Abu Gonzales "Hispanic American of the Year," complete with a cover picture of the awardee looking rather smug.

As a kid and as a young adult, I was rather frequently invited to go back to Mexico. I would reply, with smart assed humor, that I was already here.

I think the Associates are a bunch of right wing Cubans. I have asked them for an apology. They have not replied.

I will next ask them to return to the Island, and failing that, will threaten them with legions of lawyers, CPAs and enraged Mexican-Americans, a la Ignatius of New Orleans fame.

Any of you fair skinned people who are so moved are invited to join the punitive expedition.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at March 1, 2006 06:43 PM