Are We All Animals?

This is probably one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever read: the account of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan . The piece is based on a report, smuggled to the Times, regarding two detainees who died in 2002.

The details make me wonder why it is we even bother, as humans, to attempt to better ourselves when such abhorrent behavior is allowed, even encouraged, to exist anywhere on this earth:

“At the interrogators’ behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

“Leave him up,” one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.”

Seems Bagram is where prisoners start their long and, literally torturous, journey through the U.S. system, with many heading on to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Bush Administration decided the Taliban do not deserve the rights accorded by the Geneva Conventions.

This is what we have become.

“One of the coroners later translated the assessment at a pre-trial hearing for Specialist Brand, saying the tissue in the young man’s legs “had basically been pulpified.”

“I’ve seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus,” added Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, the coroner, and a major at that time.”

I could quote from it, but it really must be read in its entirety.

Everyone must read this. How long will our complacency allow this?