I was kidnapped; abducted, forced imprisoned, tortured, threatened with further torture, without charge. Without trial.Even many soldiers had said to me afterwards…if you weren’t a terrorist when you came in here, by the time you leave, I’m sure you would be because of the way you’ve been treated.
–Bagram detainee Moazzam BeggFlying in the face of statements members of the Bush Administration have made denying the use, and advocacy, of torture in their war effort, evidence of brutal treatment of captives continues to accumulate.
PBS’ Bill Moyers delves into Oscar-nominated documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side,” highlighting an Afghan taxi driver who was detained and beaten to death by American forces.
“Go see it,” says Moyers. “Not in a while has the truth hit so hard.”
In 2002, Dilawar, 22, and his passengers were stopped at Bagram Air Base and held under suspicion of involvement in a rocket attack. Five days later, his death from blunt force trauma would be ruled a homicide, as written on the death certificate, in English, given to Dilawar’s family with his body.
One of the many things I love about Donald Rumsfeld is that he’s totally unrepentant. Back in 2001, the Pentagon under his leadership created the controversial Office of Strategic Influence, which was closed down just a few months later after its existence became public. Rightly or wrongly, the Pentagon was accused of creating a propaganda office. Now, the former defense secretary has a bigger vision: he is advocating a “21st century agency for global communications.”This was one of the major themes in one of Rumsfeld’s first post-Pentagon public comments at a conference today on network centric warfare sponsored by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement. According to Rumsfeld, the United States is losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world, and the answer to that, in part, is through the creation of this new government agency.
During the the Q&A after the speech, I asked Rumsfeld what this new agency might entail (he was pretty clear it wouldn’t be a resurrected U.S. Information Agency, which was merged into State Department in 1999), and why, when there is an abundance of media available in the private sector, the government needs to get involved.
I’ll just let Rumsfeld speak for himself:
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of “ordering and authorizing” torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.
US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” for six years.
Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.
According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld shouting “murderer” and “war criminal” at the breakfast meeting venue, US embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary’s whereabouts citing “security reasons”.
Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activist point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.