Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Media giddiness Over "Torture" Part Of The Plan

While the media foams at the mouth to ask the next hard hitting question of an administration official over allegations of book abuse or torture, there is good reason why conservatives and neo-libertarians are concerned.

The media, every claiming that skepticism is their sacred duty, only show skepticism for our side. They love to run with released terrorists' stories of how a worship book we gave them in their language was mishandled, as though this were news. They love to run Amnesty International stories comparing a military prison camp for non-uniformed prisoners a gulag. But do they ever question the credibility of the accusers? Apparently not. But they should.

An al Qaeda handbook preaches to operatives to level charges of torture once captured, a training regime that administration officials say explains some of the charges of abuse at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

* * * *

U.S. officials think the Koran story -- told by a detainee who did not see the purported event -- might be part of an al Qaeda campaign to spread disinformation. "There have been allegations made by detainees," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters. "We know that members of al Qaeda are trained to mislead and to provide false reports. We know that's one of their tactics that they use. And so I think you have to keep that in mind."

In a raid on an al Qaeda cell in Manchester, British authorities seized al Qaeda's most extensive manual for how to wage war. A directive lists one mission as "spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy."

If captured, the manual states, "At the beginning of the trial ... the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison." The handbook instructs commanders to make sure operatives, or "brothers," understand what to say if captured.

"Prior to executing an operation, the commander should instruct his soldiers on what to say if they are captured," the document says. "He should explain that more than once in order to ensure that they have assimilated it. They should, in turn, explain it back to the commander."

An example might have occurred in a Northern Virginia courtroom in February. Ahmed Omar Abul Ali, accused of planning to assassinate President Bush, made an appearance in U.S. District Court and promptly told the judge that he had been tortured in Saudi Arabia, including a claim that his back had been whipped. He is accused of meeting there with a senior al Qaeda leader.

Days later, a U.S. attorney filed a court document saying physicians had examined Ali and "found no evidence of any physical mistreatment on the defendant's back or any other part of his body."

Larry Di Rita, spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said two Guantanamo commanders told him that al Qaeda detainees are experts in circulating false charges among the more than 500 fighters captured in Afghanistan. "There are elements within the detainee population that were very effective at getting other detainees agitated about the Koran by making allegations," Mr. Di Rita said. "They particularly focused on the practice of their faith and the Koran being kept from them. So people should not be surprised when detainees come out and make these kinds of allegations. It causes the reactions we've seen."

Hmmmm. Part of the strategy. In writing. Looks like a scandal. The next headline, no doubt: "Administration accused of torturing because the al Qaeda manual destroyed detainees credibility."


At 5:31 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

KJ??? What did you do? Take the whole weekend off? You're making me look even lazier about blogging than I am!

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Pile OnĀ® said...

Have you been hitting the Red Bull KJ?

At 5:55 PM, Blogger KJ said...

No, spd, I worked 8 hours on Monday. I did a lot Friday night and Sunday night though. Then some quick stuff this morning.

I was wondering if anyone was reading though.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

Yeah, I worked all day Saturday and all day Monday. This freakin' law job has lousy hours.

Good writing KJ.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Interesting story.


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