Gulags Without Archipelagos

This is a gulag for people who are in this country illegally. Last August, we talked about the despicable handling of Jason Haist, a kid from Ontario, Canada who nearly drowned in the Niagara River after falling off his Sea-Doo. Because he washed up on the American side of the Niagara River, he was first taken to a hospital, and then carted off to jail, where he remained for several days. Clearly the victim of Chimperial xenophobia run amok, the treatment of Jason Haist was appalling-but as you will see from the next story, Haist was, in retrospect, lucky.

So begins Jolly Roger….

JR is drawing on a story from the New York  Times in which deaths of detainees are investigated at various centers, in this case primarily in the East.  The more disturbing aspect of the story is the ‘discovery’ of holding places of detainees here in Idaho.

  • Madison County jail    =  6 detainees (Rexburg)
  • TF County jail                = 14 detainees (Twin Falls)
  • Haile Detention Ctr.    =   9 detainees (Caldwell)

Two weeks ago, AF Major David J. R. Frakt was a guest on Rachel Maddow’s show two weeks ago in which he discussed his client, who was a teen-ager when thrown in to Guantanamo. He was 17 when he arrived there in Feb. 2003.


Frakt called out those who began this process of painting people as “the other” – painting them as wanting to destroy America and what it stood for – painting us as the vanquishers of evil when it is us who really need to evaluate our own evilness.

Here’s Frakt’s closing argument at the hearing for dismissal of Mohammad Jawad’s case, and these are the ending paragraphs:

Today, Your Honor, you have an opportunity to restore a bit of America’s lost luster, to bring back some small measure of the greatness that was lost on Feb 7, 2002, to set us back on a path that leads to an America which once again stands at the forefront of the community of nations in the arena of human rights.

Sadly, this military commission has no power to do anything to the enablers of torture such as John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Robert Delahunty, Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith, David Addington, William Haynes, Vice President Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, for the jurisdiction of military commissions is strictly and carefully limited to foreign war criminals, not the home-grown variety. All you can do is to try to send a message, a clear and unmistakable message that the U.S. really doesn’t torture, and when we do, we own up to it, and we try to make it right.

I have provided you with legal authority for the proposition that you have the power to dismiss these charges. I can’t stand before you and say that you are legally required to do so. But I can say that that it is a moral imperative to do so, and I ask that you do so.

It’s time to put an end to this shit…..really.  Just as Jolly Roger throws down, I, too, do not think we are any safer than we were  and in fact, I do believe we’re more apt to fall prey to those who now seek our demise because of what has transpired over the past 8 years, and most especially what has been done in our name to those unlucky enough to cross our path.

ENOUGH. It is time for accountability to be restored, and for Chimpy’s gulag to be dismantled. Treating detainees like this doesn’t do a damn thing to make Americans any safer. Instead, it actually does a lot to reinforce the worst impressions of us held by people all over the world-and makes recruitment into violent anti-American groups much easier for those who would like to do us harm.

In the meantime, I wonder whose in our little gulags here?  I wonder if Zeb Bell knows?  I mean, isn’t he the one who keeps track of all those who are ‘the other?’

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2 Responses

  1. Why can’t we roam an open country?

    Pretty soon there will be road blocks at 3:00 in the afternoon, with Gestapo agents asking us for our ‘Travel papers’ and why are we listening to rebel music?

  2. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how brutalizing illegals/immigrants does anything for the security of the United States. I can certainly see how it might work in reverse, once some pissed off beat-up detainee goes home and runs into a terror recruiter.

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