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March 04, 2005

Can We Please Start Being the Good Guys Again?

Prarie Weather channels Eric Alterman:

Prairie Weather: Torture next door: Eric Alterman digs back in the New York Daily News and comes up with an account of torture right here in our neighborhood.

It documents the abuse ‘tantamount to torture’of 79 Muslims andfive Israeli Jewish! ‘terrorist suspects;’ not in  Guantanamo or Iraq, but in a federal prison in Brooklyn, a stone’s throw from the D’ train and within sight of the Statue of Liberty. This one brings the issue of torture home, here in America, for the first time. The mistreatment included sexual abuse, sleep deprivation, exposure to freezing temperatures for extended periods, and frequent unprovoked beatings. Many of the abuses were recorded on video tape. None of the suspects were ultimately found to have any relation to terrorism. Yet, despite the video tapes, the Justice Department has decided no one will be prosecuted. A separate administrative investigation by the Bureau of Prisons appears to be a sham. Of 12 prisoners I interviewed, none had been interviewed by Justice Department prosecutors or Bureau of Prison investigators...

Alterman writes that our image overseas is less about the spread of democracy than about the spread of prisoner abuse.

Can we please start acting like the good guys again? It's not just the right thing to do, it's also good politics. The United States is much more powerful and effective in international affairs when we are and are seen to be the good guys.

Posted by DeLong at March 4, 2005 08:24 AM