Send To Printer Email to Friend

"Taxes for Torture"
By W. David Jenkins III

I was listening to Mike Malloy last week and he made some remark concerning the U.S. sanctioning torture because Rumsfeld and Company couldn't get the gang down at Camp X-Ray, among others worldwide to sing about their alleged ties to bin Laden. "No," I thought, "That can't be right."

So I called the 800 number for Malloy to ask for directions to this information. A very nice lady at the other end of the phone (turned out to be Kathy, the executive producer) found the link for me and I went searching. Sure enough, there it was. An article on Common Dreams.com referring to a Washington Post article, from early March, on the subject of "rendition." An article which the Post has failed to follow up on. Kids, if you haven't heard about this yet, this is gonna send you through the roof.

Rendition is, basically, the seizure of people and their transfer to other countries, bypassing extradition procedures and ignoring the legal rights of the targeted individuals. The Post quoted a US diplomat's remarks. The statement read, "After September 11, these sorts of movements have been occurring all the time. It allows us to get information from terrorists in a way we can't do on US soil." Oh, now just what could this person be referring to? Two of the countries mentioned in the article are Jordan and Egypt. So I went to find out about these countries and their human rights standing. Seems as though Amnesty International is more than just a bit disturbed with these countries.

Egypt alone has a 20 page report of human rights violations available for your reading enjoyment. Take the case of Mohammad Badr al-Din Gom'a Isma'il, a 39 year old school bus driver from Alexandria.

Seems as though Mohammad was "detained" back in 1996 because his daughter had disappeared. Now in order for the Egyptian authorities to get to the bottom of all this, they felt compelled to suspend Mohammad from a door and subject him to electric shocks, including sensitive parts of his body. I'm sure some of you remember that scene in the first "Lethal Weapon" movie. So this poor guy confesses to killing his daughter. Well, then there was a small problem. Apparently, she wasn't dead. She had just run away. So the authorities did the right thing.

They arrested the runaway daughter and her mother and detained them for 13 days. But, low and behold, the authorities were able to find the body of another young girl and decided that she was the real missing daughter and proceeded to beat Mohammad's wife and Mohammad to get them to finally confess to a crime they had never committed. Well, to make a long story short, Mohammad was released about 6 months later after enduring 8 months of torture. For a crime he wasn't guilty of. This little story is only page 1 of the 20 page report of Egypt.

Then we have Ghassan Dahduli. On November 30th, this Palestinian born computer technician was deported to Jordan. Now this father of five has been here for 23 years. Unfortunately, he chose to live in Texas and on September 22nd he was arrested at his home and held without bond on immigration fraud charges. Okay, fair enough. But why deport him? Well, because, silly. Seems as though last year authorities found his name in an address book belonging to a guy named Wadih Hage. Seems that Wadih is a close aide, according to authorities, to bin Laden. He was also sentenced to life for his role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Dahduli's lawyer said the two had known each other "slightly" back in the 1980's. Authorities beg to differ, so they've sent him to a country where people are hung upside down and beaten on the soles of their feet. And if they don't confess, they simply take away the place to put a hat.

Back in October, the Washington Post, again, and other news sources reported on the FBI's consideration of using torture and drug "therapy" on detainees in order to get information. If I'm not mistaken, Bob Barr wanted to lift the restrictions concerning information gathering shortly after 9/11. The so-called "war on terrorism" has reduced us to a level that most folks dare not admit. Have we become just as evil as the people who changed our lives on that day in September?

Listen, kids, regardless of what you think happened to us a little over six months ago, or who you think is responsible, this is reality. We are scooping people up all over the world on evidence that wouldn't stand up in a real court of law and sending them to countries that can do what we can't. Well, not officially anyway. U.S. officials are reported to be overseeing these proceedings, but lo and behold, they deny it. But there is enough documented information to make them liars. Authorities tend to forget that we're not as stupid as the folks who actually voted for Bush II. And if anybody doubts what I've said, I will be glad to mail the information.

What it boils down to is this. If you pay taxes, you are paying for torture. Plain and simple. Do you think that when Dahluli's plane flew him to Jordan that General "What's-His-Face" fished out a bit of cash at the pump to pay for the fuel to fly him there? Nope. You and I did. You think that the U.S. representatives who oversee these procedures of information gathering are doing this in their spare time or out of the goodness of their hearts? Nope. You and I paid them.

These actions go far and beyond the joke that is compassionate conservatism. I've made remarks before how Bush II is debasing the graves of those who died on 9/11. This, however, goes way beyond any partisan joke or smart-ass remark. This goes beyond the disgusting push of a right wing agenda that most of America didn't vote for but was handed by a corrupt Supreme Court. This goes beyond the flip remarks of a "fortunate son" whose daddy gave him a job. This goes beyond anything we've speculated or bitched about. This practice makes us evil. And the fact that our leaders are desperately doing their best to deny and distance themselves from it makes us liars. Our leaders have used the deaths of innocents to make us as evil and hypocritical as those we wage war on.

And we wonder why they hate us.

Go ahead. Wave your flag.