Monday, June 27, 2005

Innocents Tortured: AI Where Are You?

When real torture takes place i.e. beatings & electric shocks, the AI, UN, MSM troika is remarkably reticent. There are no demands for accountability & calls for justice, no condemnation & Nazi, gulag comparisons, nor do you see the photographic & video images played over & over & over again until they are branded in everyone's brain. Thankfully, they don't fool the American public.

A new poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which was released on Sunday, found that "attitudes toward the performance of the news media are at or near their low points in Pew trends dating back to the mid-1980s. This is especially the case in opinions regarding the press's patriotism, bias, and fairness."
* 42% say news organizations generally 'stand up for America
* 6/10 see news organizations as politically biased, up from 53 percent two years ago.
* 72 percent, say news organizations tend to favor one side, rather than treat all sides fairly "that is the largest number ever expressing that view."

Here is an NYT article on what Marines found when they liberated insurgent held ares in Iraq. I have posted the entire article as the full article is currently archived, & thus unavailable without a fee.

KARABILA, Iraq, Sunday, June 19 - Marines on an operation to eliminate insurgents that began Friday broke through the outside wall of a building in this small rural village to find a torture center equipped with electric wires, a noose, handcuffs, a 574-page jihad manual - and four beaten and shackled Iraqis.
The American military has found torture houses after invading towns heavily populated by insurgents - like Falluja, where the anti-insurgent assault last fall uncovered almost 20 such sites. But rarely have they come across victims who have lived to tell the tale. The men said they told the marines, from Company K, Third Marines, Second Division, that they had been tortured with shocks and flogged with a strip of rubber for more than two weeks, unseen behind the windows of black glass.
One of them, Ahmed Isa Fathil, 19, a former member of the new Iraqi Army, said he had been held and tortured there for 22 days. All the while, he said, his face was almost entirely taped over and his hands were cuffed.
In an interview with an embedded reporter just hours after he was freed, he said he had never seen the faces of his captors, who occasionally whispered at him, "We will kill you." He said they did not question him, and he did not know what they wanted. Nor did he ever expect to be released. "They kill somebody every day," said Mr. Fathil, whose hands were so swollen he could not open a can of Coke offered to him by a marine. "They've killed a lot of people."
From the house on Saturday, there could be heard sounds of fighting from the large-scale offensive to eliminate strongholds of insurgents, many of whom stream across Iraq's porous border with Syria. [Page 10.]
As the marines walked through the house - a squat one-story building of sand-colored brick - the broken black window glass crunched under their boots. Light poured in, revealing walls and ceiling shredded by shrapnel from the blast they had set off to break in through a wall. Latex gloves were strewn on the floor. A kerosene lantern lay on its side, shattered.
The manual recovered - a fat, well-thumbed Arabic paperback - listed itself as the 2005 First Edition of "The Principles of Jihadist Philosophy," by Abdel Rahman al-Ali. Its chapters included "How to Select the Best Hostage," and "The Legitimacy of Cutting the Infidels' Heads." Also recovered were several fake passports, a black hood, the painkiller Percoset, handcuffs and an explosives how-to-guide. Three cars loaded with explosives were parked in a garage outside the house. The marines blew them up.
This is Mr. Fathil's account of his ordeal. He was having a lunch of lettuce and cucumbers in the kitchen of his home in the small desert village of Rabot with his mother and brother. An Opel sedan pulled up. Two men in masks carrying machine guns got out, seized him, and, leaving his mother sobbing, put him in the trunk of their car.
The drove to the house here. They taped his face, put cotton in his ears, and began to beat him. The only possible explanation for the seizure he could think of was his time in the new Iraqi Army. Unemployed and illiterate, Mr. Fathil signed up after the American occupation began. But nine months ago, when continuing working meant risking the wrath of the Jihadists, he quit.
In all, 10 friends from his unit have been killed, he said. So have his uncle and his uncle's son, though neither ever worked as soldiers.
The men tended to talk in whispers, he said, telling him five times a day, in low voices in his ear, to pray, and offering him sand, instead of water, to wash himself. Just once, he asked if he could see his mother, and one of them said to him, "You won't leave until you are dead."
Mr. Fathil did not know there were other hostages. He found out only after the captors left and he was able to remove the tape from his eyes. The routine in the house was regular. Because of the windows, it was always dark inside. Mr. Fathil said he was fed once a day, and allowed to use a bathroom as necessary in the back of the house.
When marines burst in, one of the captives was lying under a stairwell, badly beaten. At first, they thought he was dead. The others were emaciated and battered.
Mr. Fathil had fared the best. The other three were taken by medical helicopter to Balad, a base near Baghdad with a hospital. But he still had been hurt badly. Marks from beatings criss-crossed his back, and deep pocks, apparently from electric shock burns, were gouged in his skin.
The shocks, he said, felt "like my soul is being ripped out of my body." But when he would start to scream, and his body would pull up from the shock, they would begin to beat him, he said. Mr. Fathil has been at the Marine base south of Qaim since his release, on Saturday around noon.
His mother still does not know he is alive.
When she was mentioned, he bowed and lowered his head, and began to cry softly, wiping his face with the jumpsuit given him by the marines. He asked a reporter for help to move to another town, because it was too dangerous for his family to remain in their house. He begged not to have a photograph taken, even of the scars on his back. The captors took pictures of that, he said.
His town has always been a good place, he said, but the militants have made it hell. "These few are destroying it," he said, his face streaked with tears. "Everybody they take, they kill. It's on a daily basis pretty much."

Yes, this is what real torture is. These are gulags. Why is there so little attention given to the suffering of innocent people?

It is fashionable these days to coddle criminals. There is a liberal fetish for lionizing murderers like Che Guevara, Stalin & Ho Chi Min; therefore, the kid glove treatment of the crimes of Islamic terrorists should come as no surprise. Perhaps, these distorted worldviews stem from most liberals having lived all their lives in hothouse environments, with their obsessive, hyperparents ensuring that their spoiled children never encounter a sharp corner, or self-esteem bruising comment.

Those, whose experiences have been limited to such artificial environments, are unable to comprehend reality, which renders them highly vulnerable to psychological manipulation. No doubt this is why they cannot distinguish between a few thousand murderers being fed Mustard-Dill Baked Fish & Lyonnaise Rice & millions of Soviet citizens beaten, frozen & worked to death for merely speaking ill of Stalin. While I am no fan of therapy, I can't help thinking that a bit might be called for, to help these sad products of the failed experiment of secularization & the sexual revolution.

HAT TIP: Mustang 23

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USDA Approved

Basil's Lunch

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Identity Theft & Outsourcing

Here is an update of the post on identity theft & outsourcing. It appears that the assurances given by companies, that confidential information is not made available to its staff is false. While a majority of the Indian staff cannot open the databases, those in managerial positions or are technically proficient can, "open the interface where the data is stored, copy it and take it home", the manager said. "I have never accessed it, but if I wanted to I could. If the data is stored here the tech guys can get to it too."

Scary isn't it? But, I am not surprised. If hackers can access company databases from their bedrooms, why can they not access restricted zones in their own LAN? You can't have people conduct account transactions without their having access to account information.

Those are not the only problems with these call centers:
Call centers typically ask for three references for new employees but managers say that the rules are often bent, for example if a prospective employee is referred by a
current worker or if a referee is unavailable. The high turnover of staff also
results in laxer hiring practices and poor workforce loyalty.
Despite the institutions concerned in this incident being British, such a scenario is not impossible at an American run call center. We must demand that measures be taken to protect our identities.

HAT TIP: Shipwrecks

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