Saturday, January 06, 2007

And this is why war is always a bad idea...

...When you're thinking about "liberating" a populace.

Because shit like this is bound to happen, every time.
Four Marines have been charged in the deaths of 24 civilians, including women and children, that occurred immediately after a bombing in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, killed one Marine and injured two others. In addition, four officers who were not there during the killings but were accused of failures in investigating and reporting the deaths have been charged.

The killings have led to the biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths to come out of the
Iraq war.

After the taxi passengers were shot, the report found, the Marines raided nearby houses, firing indiscriminately, using both grenades and guns, in a bloody, door-to-door sweep, killing 14 unarmed inhabitants, in just 10 minutes.
Now personally I find it awesome that this was brought to trial (is it the same thing when the military does it?), but let's just go ahead and contrast the treatment these marines are receiving, who by the way, shot a three-year-old and a five-year-old to death, with the treatment of Jose Padilla, who we're not sure what he did really because he hasn't been charged with anything.
An American citizen, convicted of no crime, he has borne the brunt of an incarceration unlike any other in the history of this country. He has been, his lawyers allege, drugged with a "truth serum," which the attorneys charge is either PCP or LSD. He was, his lawyers further allege -- it should be noted that the government has declined to address any of these charges -- arbitrarily deprived of the few human comforts he was given, like a mattress, a pillow and a sheet. Often, he slept on a bare steel platform. He was denied any contact with any people other than his interrogators and, after almost two years of incarceration, his lawyers; to ensure that he would be at all times in total solitude, his cell was monitored electronically and the unit of 10 cells in which he was held was kept empty. His mirror, at one point the only furniture in his cell other than the steel platform and a toilet, was taken from him, again arbitrarily. He was, despite the request of a representative from the Red Cross, denied a clock or any other way to tell the time of day or keep track of the weeks, months and years that he was incarcerated in the Naval Brig.

His treatment was so unusual, and so psychologically damaging, that even Sandy Seymour, the senior corrections expert at the Brig, told Padilla's lawyer that he was concerned. Staff in the Brig asked superiors whether Padilla could be permitted to have meals with another detainee to alleviate some of the deleterious effects of solitary confinement. That request was denied.

Padilla is forever scarred, says a psychiatrist who has examined him. He is paranoid, worried that if he so much as discusses what he went through in the Brig, he will be sent back, worried that letters from his mother are faked, worried that his lawyers are government plants. He will not discuss what happened to him in the "recreation" cage where he was occasionally taken, saying only that he begged his guards not to put him there. When he is asked by his attorneys to discuss his case he begs them not to -- "please, please, please," he says, according to the affidavit of a psychiatrist who examined him on behalf of the defense. When he does allow himself to be questioned by his attorneys, according to an affidavit filed by one, "he often exhibits facial tics, unusual eye movements, and contortions of his body. The contortions are particularly poignant, since he is usually manacled and bound by a belly chain when he has meetings with counsel."
Hmmm. I wonder which case will be resolved first.

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