Now We’re Holding American POWs?


Buried in the Times‘ stunning piece on the detention of an American whistleblower at Iraq’s notorious Camp Cropper — surreal highlight: camp psychologist tells Vance to think of himself “as a soldier who has been kidnapped, and that you still have a duty to do” — is a no less stunning two-sentence graf:

[Pentagon spokesman First Lt. Lea Ann] Fracasso said that currently there were three Americans in military custody in Iraq. The military does not identify detainees.

Legalities aside — and they are disputed: remember U.S. filmmaker Cyrus Kar, who came forward with his own harrowing Iraq detention story last year? He has an all-star cast of lawyers working the case — only Kafka could have invented a nation founded on the rule of law that lawlessly detains its own citizens in squalid camps overseas, without any kind of lawyer, due process, or shred of information to loved ones. Not to mention holding citizens as enemy combatants and in the process damaging them to the point where their own guards refer to them as “a piece of furniture.” AND not to mention claiming that not a single innocent man is being held at Guantanamo, days before 18 innocent men are sent home to their families. When our children grow old enough to ask, we’ll have a lot of explaining to do.

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