Friday, February 11, 2005


Torture or "Heart Attack" ???

A 29-year old man suspected of terrorist links died after 10 days in Kuwaiti custody. The reported cause of death was a heart attack. (Source: BBC "Top Militant dies in Kuwaiti Jail" 2/9/05)

Oddly enough, some people are paranoid enough to think he may have died while under torture just because heart attacks are quite rare among 29-year olds that aren't being questioned using methods the Bush Administration assures us are not torture:
A suspected Islamic militant leader who died in a Kuwaiti jail suffered heart failure and did not die under torture, the country's interior minister said.

Sheikh Nawaf al-Sabah said there was no evidence of maltreatment and a forensic report would prove that Amer al-Enezi died from low blood pressure.

Mr Enezi, who was 29, was reported dead on Wednesday, 10 days after his arrest.
According to Kuwaiti media reports, Enezi confessed to the plot during interrogation and admitted his group had links with al-Qaeda...
Source: BBC "Kuwait Denies Torture Claim" Feb. 10, 2005 (Emphasis in original)
Only the truly cynical would point to such news reports as these:

Two Afghan prisoners were killed while in US custody at their base at Bagram, a military coroner has concluded.

The report said "blunt force trauma" had contributed to the deaths.

Last month, human rights groups accused the US Government of subjecting the prisoners to physical abuse leading to a number of deaths and attempted suicides in custody.

Washington described the allegations of torture as "ridiculous"

The US spokesman at Bagram said the two men who died there had been under allied custody for about 10 days altogether.

The first man died on 3 December after a blood clot in his lungs, and the second died a week later after developing blood clots as well as suffering a heart attack.
Source: BBC: "Prisoners 'Killed' at US Base" Mar. 6, 2003 (Emphasis in Original)

And later this:
The US army has charged a military police sergeant with assault and dereliction of duty in connection with the deaths of two Afghan prisoners.

Sergeant James Boland was a guard at the Bagram air base north of Kabul where the two Afghans died.

A military coroner had concluded that they died due to trauma suffered after receiving "blunt-force" injuries.
The first man died after developing a blood clot in his lungs. The second died a week later after developing blood clots as well as suffering a heart attack.
Source: BBC "US Soldier Charged with Assault" Sept. 2, 2004.
I suppose it is an odd coincidence, though, that suspected terrorists in both Afganistan and Kuwait suffered heart attacks after one or two weeks in custody.

Oh, and that "confession" of links to Al Qaeda? People used to "confess" to practicing witchcraft under similar interrogation practices. (Assuming there even was a "confession." Police throughout history have been known to stretch the truth {"gild the lily"} about alleged confessions, especially when explaining a suspect's unfortunate death while in custody.) Two things we can be sure of:
1) Any information gained using torture is pretty worthless because most folks will "confess" to anything after a while to stop the pain, and;

2) Al Qaida and the rest of the Islamic militant organizations will use this guy's fate in their recruiting efforts.
Bottom line: both Mr. Bush and Osama bin Ladin think they're winning as a result of the United State's chosen anti-terror tactics. Given Mr. Bush's at best tenuous grasp on reality, it is likely that we're winning each battle but setting ourselves up to lose the overall war. (Think of the German Army's string of victories while marching up to the gates of Moscow. Overconfidence and over-extension leading to the Germans' complete and utter defeat. Now think of what an oil embargo coupled with a Chinese / Iranian alliance could do to us...)


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