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Detainee Abuse At Guantanamo

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I guess we didn’t learn from history, so we’re doomed to repeat it.

From ABC:

The allegations come from a Marine Corps sergeant, 23-year-old Heather Cerveny, who spent a week at the base in late September as a legal aide to a military lawyer representing detainees. […]

“One sailor specifically said, ‘I took the detainee by the head and smashed his head into the cell door,'” Sgt. Cerveny tells ABC News in an exclusive interview. […]

“Everyone in the group laughed at all their stories of beating detainees,” she recalled. “None of them looked like they cared. None of them looked shocked by it.”

What strikes me when I read stuff like this, is the idea of the “banality of evil” whereby grotesque things start to become no big deal because they’re so common place, so part of the routine.

The reason I say this is because of this laughter the Sgt. describes. Sure, everybody needs to blow off steam, but this type of behavior speaks to an enivornment where it’s acceptable to joke about treatment that’s clearly out of line. And one can’t help but think that many at the base are simply turning a blind eye to this.

Think I’m overreacting? Well…read this and see if you change your mind…

Sgt. Cerveny says the guards also talked about taking away detainees’ privileges “even when they’re being good” and denying their requests for water. In her affidavit, she states she was told “they do this to anger the detainees so they can punish them when they object or complain.”

Within the walls of Guantanamo, at least within camps 5 and 6 where these guards are from, it appears to be completely normal to do whatever you want to a detainee. Don’t like him? Punch him the face. It’s no big deal…he’s a terrorist. And forced provocation is completely justified so these guards can take out their frustrations. After all, it’s a tough job and they’re just blowing off some steam.

Yep, there’s no good reason to give detainees any legal rights. Lock ’em up forever and do what you want to them.

After all, Al Qaeda will make more…