Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Blame Al Gore

Because I am about to criticize certain actions of the US government, I hereby insist that any reader who is not a citizen of the United States cease reading this post, lest I criticize America in front of a foreign audience. Such behavior is unacceptable, and given that the Internet is a global medium like television and print media, I am always careful what I say. You never know who's watching. Above all, I will not stoop to the level of former Vice President Al Gore who said this recently in front of foreigners - on foreign soil no less:

Former Vice President Al Gore told a mainly Saudi audience on Sunday that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment. [...]

Gore told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated at U.S. universities, that Arabs in the United States had been "indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."

"Unfortunately there have been terrible abuses and it's wrong," Gore said. "I do want you to know that it does not represent the desires or wishes or feelings of the majority of the citizens of my country."
Now, much to my disgust, the Bush administration is hopping on the America-hating, Gore-piloted bandwagon:

The federal government has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian who was among dozens of Muslim men swept up in the New York area after 9/11, held for months in a federal detention center in Brooklyn and deported after being cleared of links to terrorism.
This settlement removed one of two plaintiffs from a lawsuit that is still pending - the other plaintiff hasn't settled. There is also a class action suit brought by "hundreds of detainees" still in play. Returning to the substance of Gore's seditious speech now buttressed by the Bush administration's admissions and certain DOJ/Federal Bureau of Prisons internal audits, just what were these supposedly "terrible abuses" and "unforgivable" conditions that Gore recklessly cited in his attempt to undermine America in front of foreigners who surely had no idea about the incidents until Gore informed them [emphasis mine throughout]:

A 2003 report by the Justice Department's inspector general found widespread abuse of the noncitizen detainees at the Brooklyn center after 9/11, and in recent months, 10 of the center's guards and supervisors have been disciplined.

Mr. Elmaghraby, who spent nearly a year in detention, and the Pakistani man, Javaid Iqbal, held for nine months, charged that while shackled they were kicked and punched until they bled. Their lawsuit said they were cursed as terrorists and subjected to multiple unnecessary body-cavity searches, including one in which correction officers inserted a flashlight into Mr. Elmaghraby's rectum, making him bleed.

In a telephone interview from his home in Alexandria, Egypt, Mr. Elmaghraby, 38, said he had reluctantly decided to settle because he is ill, in debt and about to have surgery for a thyroid ailment aggravated by his treatment in the detention center.

"I wish I come to New York, to stay in the court face to face with these people," he said in imperfect English, adding that he had always expected the courts to uphold his claim. "I lived 13 years in New York, I see a lot of big cases on TV. I think the judges is fair."
Really Mr. Gore? Since when is a little sodomy with a flashlight a "terrible abuse." How fainthearted. How pre-9/11. I suppose Gore and other America-bashing do gooders would also complain about 9-12 month detentions with limited access to attorneys and family members and without charges being brought in anything like a timely manner. Some, like that traitor Dick Durbin, might even be tempted to claim that anal rape, beatings and indefinite detention sound more like incidents found in prisons run by despotic regimes than American prisons. They would be wrong of course to tarnish America's name in such a treasonous manner. More turn-coats:

Traci L. Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said that its own investigation began in April 2004, after federal officials declined to prosecute.

She would not identify the 10 employees disciplined, but said that two had been fired and two demoted, and that the others had received suspensions ranging from 2 to 30 days. She listed the offenses as "lack of candor, unprofessional conduct, misuse of supervisory authority, conduct unbecoming, inattention to duty, failure to exercise supervisory responsibilities, excessive use of force, and physical and/or verbal abuse."
Worse still, Gore said these people were "indiscriminately" rounded up, but I beg to differ. Consider this:

In all, 762 noncitizens were arrested in the weeks after 9/11, mostly on immigration violations, according to government records. Mr. Elmaghraby and Mr. Iqbal were among 184 identified as being "of high interest" to investigators and held in maximum-security conditions, in Brooklyn and elsewhere, until the F.B.I. cleared them of terrorist links. Virtually all were Muslims or from Arab countries. [...]

The [DOJ's] inspector general's report said that little effort was made to distinguish between legitimate terrorism suspects and people picked up by chance, and that clearances took months, not days, because they were a low priority. Among the abuses described in the report - many of them caught on prison videotape - were beatings, sexual humiliations and illegal recording of lawyer-client conversations.
Note the wording: "virtually all." Meaning not exactly all. Not indiscriminate really. And "little effort" which implies that some effort was made to distinguish. Nor should the fact that they were all eventually cleared of ties to terrorism be deemed evidence of indiscriminate application of legal measures. The government lawyers who originally took a brave stand before deciding to join forces with the Gore-skyites had the right idea:

That in itself is not evidence of discrimination, government lawyers wrote in the brief they filed on Friday with the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because "the Al Qaeda terrorists who perpetrated the Sept. 11 attacks were Muslims from certain Arab countries" who "viewed themselves as conducting a religious war."
See. It's obvious. Al Qaeda were Muslims from certain Arab countries, so it wouldn't be discriminatory to round up other Muslims from certain Arab countries and imprison them indefinitely with a little "aggressive" interrogation thrown in. Check the post-9/11 Constitution. It's in there. After all, ever heard of a ticking time bomb? How many Americans should die in order to protect the human rights of terrorists or people who aren't terrorists but are of the same religion and ethnicity as some terrorists? Besides, there was lots of compelling evidence of guilt. For example:

Mr. Elmaghraby, who had a weekend flea market stand at Aqueduct Raceway in Queens, was picked up on Sept. 30, 2001, in his apartment in Maspeth, Queens, when federal agents were investigating his landlord, apparently because years earlier the landlord, also a Muslim, had applied for pilot training. Mr. Elmaghraby says his wife, an American citizen, left him after being threatened with arrest by an F.B.I. agent when she arrived at his first court hearing.
His landlord - also a Muslim - applied for pilot training! His freakin' landlord. Pilot training! Need I say more? And this:

Mr. Iqbal was arrested in his Long Island apartment on Nov. 2 by agents who were apparently following a tip about false identification cards. In his apartment they found a Time magazine showing the World Trade Center towers in flames and paperwork showing that he had been in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, picking up a work permit from immigration services.
Not only did this man have a suspicious looking Time Magazine in his apartment (who, pray tell, reads Time other than jihadist terrorists?), but he was also Muslim and in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001 picking up a "work permit"? Quite frankly, I'm surprised this terrorist was released at all. He is so obviously guilty. Of something.

So now the Bush administration is abandoning its principles and capitulating to those that think the Constitution is some kind of suicide pact. Like Gore, the Bush administration, DOJ and Federal Bureau of Prisons are getting all caught up in technicalities about what "indiscriminate" means and other abuse-related Bill of Rights legalese.

To make matters worse, I don't think the Bush administration, DOJ and Federal Bureau of Prisons have taken necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this information to foreign shores - especially those in the Muslim world. Granted, they didn't give speeches overseas, but still, now everyone over there with an Internet connection, access to newspapers or satellite tv is going to know about what happened. And more importantly, what about the children? How do I explain sodomy with a flashlight to my 5 year old? Thanks a lot.

So I ask you to join me and Tigerhawk in saying:
There is simply no defense for what the Bush administration, DOJ and Federal Bureau of Prisons have done here, for they are deliberately undermining the United States during a time of war. The DOJ and FBP's reports, as well as the Bush administration's decision to settle this case, are as silly as they are subversive. They should all be ashamed. But they won't be. The leadership of the Republican party should disavow the Bush administration's legal surrender. But it won't.
Because as Armed Liberal noted, it is pretty clear that the Bush administration, DOJ and Federal Bureau of Prisons are not "standing for American interests" anymore.

Speaking of which, I must admit to being somewhat surprised by the American public's negative reaction to the decision to grant access and control of certain port functions to the United Arab Emirates. Sure, "the Al Qaeda terrorists who perpetrated the Sept. 11 attacks were Muslims from certain Arab countries" and one of those countries happened to be the United Arab Emirates. But suggesting that such guilt-by-association factors should be involved, whereby large groups are tarred by the actions of a few representatives, is racist, xenophobic and jingoistic. And I don't know where these attitudes came from. Really.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?