Sunday, October 01, 2006


At Gitmo, detainees get La-Z-Boys, pastries
This is not just a bad bill," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. ''This is truly a dangerous bill." And it's not just a dangerous bill. It's also "unconstitutional" and "unconscionable" and represents the loss of the nation's "moral compass." Wow! That's quite a lot for a humble bill on military trials for terrorist (OK, "alleged terrorist") detainees. But Vermont's lefty colossus wasn't done yet in his excoriation of the Bush administration. "Even they cannot dismiss the practices at Guantanamo as the actions of a few bad people," he continued. "Before they just did it quietly, and against the law, on their own say-so, but now they are obtaining license to engage in additional harsh techniques that the rest of the world will see as abusive, as cruel, as degrading and even as torture." (...) When visitors like yours truly swing by, the camp likes to serve them the same meal the prisoners get. This being Ramadan, Adm. Harris was particularly proud of the fresh-baked traditional pastries his team had made for the holy month. And he was right: The baklava was delicious. "Baklava" is said by some linguists to come from the Arabic for "nuts" -- and, indeed, in that sense this entire war can sometimes seem like one giant baklava. There was a film out earlier this year called ''The Road To Guantanamo,'' and the poster showed the usual emaciated prisoner hung by shackles against a dungeon wall. No doubt the actor in question did the full Robert De Niro and lost 40 pounds to get himself looking that cadaverous. (...) As for being emaciated, it's the only death camp in history where the soi-disant torture victims put on weight. In contrast to the undernourished thesp in the movie version, the average gain at Gitmo is 18 pounds. The Afghan detainees were the chunkiest Afghans I've ever seen. If they ever make it home, their old comrades -- the lean wiry warriors of the Hindu Kush -- will wonder why a party of Florida retirees has suddenly shown up. These Pushtuns are pushing a ton. And, if you do start losing weight suddenly, don't worry. As one of the camp's medical staff explained, they offer free colon-cancer testing for jihadis over 50. If President Hillary decides to have another crack at socialized medicine in 2009, there are worse slogans than "Every American should have the right to the same health-care plan as a Sudanese terrorist who put his arm out stabbing a prison guard." (...) Well, they're only "extraordinary" if you regard these men as traditional "defendants." If you regard them as traditional wartime detainees -- rather than OJs in turbans -- the only "extraordinary" aspect of this is the kid gloves with which not just their Qurans but the jihadists themselves are handled. This is the only war in American history in which enemy detainees have been freed before the end of hostilities. Of those released, at least 22 are known to have returned to the battlefield in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. The ones who remain are dangerous men, no matter how "sensitive" you are. They unscrewed the foot pads from those Asian-style toilets and used them as bludgeons to attack the guards. After listening to Pat Leahy's contribution to the debate, I wonder if the Gitmo medical facility's lavish team of mental health experts might not be more usefully deployed to the U.S. Senate.
We should all be so "abused"! Naturally, the reality of the situation has nothing to do with how the lefties "feel"!