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:: Saturday, 19 February 2005 ::

More Andrew Sullivan hysterics about Torture

Ooh, I am like a wog with a bone, eh?

Here, Sullivan believes Mamdouh Habib's every word.


A man well known in Oz as a malingering halfwit, on the disability pension because of his depression, I shit you not, who sold his coffee shop business and/or home and went overseas to a war zone in Afghanistan apparently chasing a business opportunity that would have set him up for life, something to do with the cleaning industry.

Sullivan approvingly notes an article that reveals that the presence of a woman near Mamdouh is torture of Mamdouh cos Mamdouh says so.

Milo give me strength.

There is no dealing with a hysteric like Sullivan - other than to just to keep track of his arguments and slam 'em when they are stupid.

Cleaning opportunity?

Mamdouh gonna make his fortune. Set himself and his family up for life, you know? Gonna clean Kabul. Peshawar. Maybe even Lakemba too.


Here is another Sullivan post approvingly noting this Associated Press article that is quite a stirling piece of confused narrative and absence of sources.

Here is my understanding having picked the piece apart:

- there was a death in custody at Abu Ghraib prison of a man named Al Jamadi on 4 November 2003

- Al Jamadi was apprehended on suspicions of involvement in the Red Cross bombing in Baghdad on 27 Oct 2003 - no date of apprehension but obviously after 27 Oct 03;

- according to "court documents and testimony" Navy SEALs are alleged to have "punched, kicked and struck al-Jamadi with their rifles before handing him over to the CIA early on Nov. 4. By 7 a.m., al-Jamadi was dead."

- the AP report is based on written statements from five of Abu Ghraib's Army guards shown by an attorney for one of the SEALs.

- early on 4 November 03 Al-Jamadi was brought to the prison with a CIA interrogator and translator. ("With" not "by"? - W

- Al Jamadi was nude from the waist down. He had a green plastic bag covering his head, and plastic cuffs on his wrists. (They were "tight" - tortcha, eh?)

- Abu Ghraib guards ended the nakidity by dressing al-Jamadi in an orange jumpsuit, and putting metal handcuffs on him. (They "slapped" them on. I suppose that is torture too.)

- Al Jamadi was was taken to a shower room, a common CIA interrogation spot and an interrogator was present with a translator.

- on the interrogator's instructions guards attached shackles to Al Jamadi's handcuffs and then to a barred window so he "could stand without pain, but if he tried to lower himself, his arms would be stretched above and behind him".

- the guards left. The interrogator and translator stayed. After half an hour the interrogator called the guards in to move Al Jamadi who was "not cooperating" and had slumped down from his standing position and was dead. The interrogator thought he was 'playing possum'.

- "Navy prosecutors in San Diego have charged nine SEALs and one sailor with abusing al-Jamadi and others. All but two lieutenants have received nonjudicial punishment; one lieutenant is scheduled for court-martial in March, the other is awaiting a hearing before the Navy's top SEAL."

- a military pathologist presumably acting for the prosecution of one or more of the 8 personnel who have already been dealt with ruled that the case is a homicide. A pathologist for one of the 2 remaining defences says death likely occurred from the slouching.

- a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights gives a quote that naturally screams that the whole shackling while standing is 'tortcha'.

- the documents got to the AP reporter from a lawyer acting for one or both of the remaining cases. "The lawyer asked not to be identified, saying he feared repercussions for his client."

What's the deal?

The military is prosecuting its folks for homicide. The only folks who think torture was used are screaming human rights doctors. The whole deal is over a year old.

Crucifiction, alright, Sullivan.


The Romans were deliberate, Andrew. They did not care for interrogation. Straight to crucifixion, thankyou very much.

You are not honestly trying to convince with the argument that interrogation does not actualy matter at all, and that abuse and torture are all the US military are in it for when they get the detainees into the shower room, are you?

Maybe you are. You sure read like it.

If, as I suspect, Al Jamadi killed himself like a craazy Islamofascist by deliberately falling forward and down using his body wait to suffocate himself, then the interrogator and translator should have stopped him.

If, as Sullivan suspects, the interrogator and the translator actually pushed Al Jamadi down and forward and suffocated him or watched him pass out and fall down and forward, then that is a matter which we can agree is appalling. The former would be torture - ripping a man's arms from his sockets and preventing him breathing while he is shackled and cannot right himself. The latter would be neglect of the worst sort. Watching a man die and doing nothing. Not right at all. A stain, a Sullivan would say. On the CIA interrogator and his translator too.

But how the hell can anyone tell what happened here?

The AP report is shite. It is all over the place.

And Sullivan, with his huge reputation and resources, cannot be bothered to address the matter instead preferring just to leap to awful conclusions about his adopted home as being debased an appalling wherever its military might be.


The impossibly fab Jason Van Steenwyk at CounterColumn also addresses this article.

But I am not on the same page about his riddle: see, the death was in the presence of the CIA interrogator and translator. Not the Navy SEALs. They beat Al Jamadi good after they detained him. Prolly cos he was fighting. Which might explain the low level punishment meted out. But the CIA interrogator and translator could have saved Al Jamadi's life.

This is interesting but only in the most macabre way.

:: WB 3:17 pm [link+] ::

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