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February 23, 2009

Comments

Patia

Wow. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Excellent post.

chris

A story appeared somewhere stating:

"A British 'resident' held at Guantanamo Bay was identified as a terrorist after confessing he had visited a 'joke' website on how to build a nuclear weapon, it was revealed last night. Binyam Mohamed, a former UK asylum seeker, admitted to having read the 'instructions' after allegedly being beaten, hung up by his wrists for a week and having a gun held to his head in a Pakistani jail."

First, the venue for this story -- England's version of the National Enquirer -- suffers from a total lack of credibility.

Second, the "victim" himself suffers from a total lack of credibility. His story may be partially true or totally false.

He said he was hung by his wrists for a week. If he were suspended by his wrists for a week -- With his Feet Off The Ground -- he would have lost his hands.

Of course the best laugh came from reading the following:

"According to his lawyer, Clive Smith of the human rights group Reprieve, Mohamed traveled to Afghanistan in 2001, attracted by the Taliban's drug-free way of life..."

Barbara E

Chris -- I know the Mail is a tabloid, that's why I immediately tracked down the lawyer and talked to him directly.

Chickensh*tEagle

chris: "Second, the 'victim' himself suffers from a total lack of credibility. His story may be partially true or totally false."

"May be partially true" contradicts "total lack of credibility." And if his story is even partially true, the word VICTIM doesn't need your quote marks.

"If he were suspended by his wrists for a week -- With his Feet Off The Ground -- he would have lost his hands."

Maybe it was only two hours a day for a week. I consider it your patriotic duty to demonstrate that your country does not torture by volunteering for it yourself.

Trish

I actually remember the aforementioned satire from back in the day - I got a huge laugh from it.

I fear that the irony-free security-culture that has been fostered since 9/11 is far more dangerous to America's survival as a free society than any terrorists-with-bombs could ever be.

Hank

I'm torn between laughing out loud or giving a hearty facepalm after reading Ehrenreich's self-flagellating and delusional diatribe. She clearly has not bothered to do ONE bit of investigation into exactly who Binyam Mohamed is and what he is accused of (and of exactly WHO did the alleged torturing). Perhaps she's not incredibly naive and is just completely misguided. It might benefit her sleepless nights of guilt (or at least help penetrate the Bush Derangement Syndrome she so clearly suffers from) to know this history of Binyam:

Mohamed admitted the following:

Binyam Mohamed is an Ethiopian who lived in the United States from 1992 to 1994, and in London, United Kingdom, until he departed for Pakistan in 2001.

Binyam Mohamed arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan, in June 2001, and traveled to the al Farouq training camp in Afghanistan, to receive paramilitary training.

At the al Farouq camp, B. Mohamed received 40 days of training in light arms handling, explosives, and principles of topography. Binyam Mohamed was taught to falsify documents, and received instruction from a senior al Qaeda operative on how to encode telephone numbers before passing them to another individual. HE HAS ADMITTED ALL OF THIS TO HIS LEGAL COUNCIL.

Piecing together intel from the other detainees that we've captured that were at that camp with him or in his direct chain of command (including Padilla and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed):

Mohamed was then reportedly introduced to top al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah. By early 2002, the two were traveling between al Qaeda safehouses. The US government alleges that Mohamed then met Jose Padilla and two other plotters, both of whom are currently detained at Guantánamo, at a madrassa. Zubaydah and another top al Qaeda lieutenant, Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, allegedly directed the four of them "to receive training on building remote-controlled detonation devices for explosives."

At some point, Padilla and Mohamed traveled to a guesthouse in Lahore, Pakistan, where they "reviewed instructions on a computer ... on how to make an improvised 'dirty bomb.'" To the extent that the allegations against Mohamed have gotten any real press, it is this one that has garnered the attention.

In early April 2002, KSM allegedly gave Mohamed $6,000 and Padilla $10,000 to fly to the United States. They were both detained at the airport in Karachi on April 4. Mohamed was arrested with a forged passport, but released. KSM arranged for Mohamed to travel on a different forged passport, but he was arrested once again on April 10. Padilla was released and made it all the way to Chicago before being arrested once again.

All of these charges against Mohamed are rarely reported in the media but are waxed poetic by such bleeding-heard simpletons as Ehrenreich. US intelligence officials believed he was part of al Qaeda's attempted second wave of attacks on US soil - where's her sympathy and sleepless nights for the people they might have murdered, or for the people that die EVERY DAY around the world at the hands of murderers who subscribe to the same ideology as Binyam Mohamed?

I won't even address the fact that NONE of her liberties were taken away by "teh Eviiiil Bu$h!" as she decries, only the perceived "right" to be able to actively train and collude with a terrorist organization CURRENTLY AT WAR WITH THE US was sharply shown to be false.

What a pathetic blog. Now, lets see if you have the guts to post this chastisement.

Ryan

Hank, if you dislike this blog so much, why are you spending so much time writing on it? Seems like you could find more constructive things to do with your days...

chris

Barb writes:

Chris -- I know the Mail is a tabloid, that's why I immediately tracked down the lawyer and talked to him directly...Posted by: Barbara E

I didn't know this blog was competing with The Onion.

The terrorist's lawyer? -- I'm laughing, but I shouldn't because Binyam Mohamed and his fellow radical islamists are in it to kill non-muslims, and even other muslims who aren't muslim enough for them.

Barb, did you check with OJ's lawyers too?

Hank:

Good work.

Anarcissie

Perhaps Hank should correct Wikipedia, which tells a somewhat different story.

roger

My inclination is to ask if indeed the prisoners, including Binyam Mohamed, have been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay appropriately. Here we have concrete and durable evidence of arrest, apparent torture and interrogation and release of a person who is said to have been a terrorist threat to the citizens of the United States. Is the United States, as asserted by many on the Left, a rouge nation which arrests and tortures random individuals for reasons of imperialism and arrogant nationalism or is the United States indeed justified in the arrest of Binyam Mohamed and the remaining prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


“ In 2001 - the year he converted to Islam - Mr Mohamed travelled to Pakistan, and then Afghanistan. What he was doing there was the crux of his legal battle.

According to Mr Mohamed, he wanted to kick a drug habit and get away from familiar haunts in London.
He says that he also wanted to see whether Taleban-run Afghanistan was a good Islamic country - a path followed by other young Muslim men who were fascinated by events in that war-torn region.

US authorities, however, said that while in Afghanistan Mr Mohamed fought on the front line against anti-Taleban Northern Alliance forces.
They claim he was cherry-picked by al-Qaeda because of his UK residency, and received firearms and explosives training alongside British shoe bomber Richard Reid.
Prosecutors claimed he planned to travel to the US, rent several flats in an apartment block and then blow it up with a timing device. “

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7870387.stm

It seems it would not be difficult to ascertain, in this one instance, whether Binyam Mohamed was indeed training to commit terrorist attacks in the United States and was thus appropriately arrested and incarcerated. I am not inclined to approach the question with a ready agenda. Let the facts themselves be revealed. This is after all the cause celebre as trotted out by the Left, to showcase, as Barbara has stated here, “ the Bush terror regime. “


Kevin Carson

I notice Hank quotes a lot of charges, but nowhere indicates that those making them actually provided proof beyond their own assertions. And "we" didn't capture anyone.

Good Americans treat the claims of "their" government with skepticism.

Laura

Slightly off topic, but I hadn't read anything of yours until it was assigned in SOC 101, and Nickel and Dimed is the reason I now have a B.S. in the subject. : )

kris

Trouble with Mr Mohamed's version of events is it doesn't quite stack up.

Erm, how does a janitor drug addict living in London get the cash/himself together to fly to Afghanistan/Pakistan?

Was he helping the Islamic Little Sisters of the Poor? Hardly.

I admire Clive Stafford Smith but wonder if his years defending those on death row have taken their toll on his judgment.

If Clive is so convinced of Mohamed's innocence, perhaps Mohamed will tell us all who bankrolled his "rehab" at the madarassa.

I won't be holding my breath.

roger

" Good Americans treat the claims of "their" government with skepticism. "

I don't know what you mean by good “Americans”. I would moreover argue that it is not their government and hasn’t been for quite some time now. I would certainly agree however that the populous needs to be vigilant to the activities of the American government and resist any activities which demonstrate hubris and abuse of power.

If the Binyam Mohamed case is all that Barbara claims it to be then let us see some hard evidence of hubris and abuse of power by the American government.


“ Perhaps Hank should correct Wikipedia, which tells a somewhat different story. “


This question is for Anarcissie: Do you believe the version of events as cited by Wikipedia? It should prove relatively simple to distill an accurate description of what actually happened and demonstrate whether the American government abused power in this case.

“ On November 7, 2005, Mohamed was charged with conspiracy. The complaint alleges that Mohamed was trained in Kabul to build dirty bombs (weapons combining conventional explosives with radioactive material intended to be dispersed over a large area). According to the complaint, he was planning terror attacks against high-rise apartment buildings in the United States and was arrested at an airport in Pakistan, attempting to go to London while using a forged passport.[11][12]


At the start of his military commission Mohamed chose to represent himself and decried the military commissions and stated he was not the person charged because the US spelled his name incorrectly. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binyam_Mohamed


Anarcissie

I have no basis for believing, or disbelieving, anything about Mohamed. My remarks about Wikipedia were meant to be taken literally: if someone has additional verifiable information, I think they ought to add it to the article, or at least enter into the related discussion page, where the information will be critiqued by other interested parties.

At one time the United States had legal and judicial institutions which were supposed to establish truth in these matters, but they seem to be undergoing replacement by propaganda and secret police. We're left with blogs and Wikipedia.

E.Dobbs

I wonder if I stuck G.W. Bush upside down on a Water Board and let marines kick the crap out of him if he, George Terror Bush, would admit that he blew up the world Trade Center along with Israel.

Isn't it strange that MOSAD operators were caught celebrating the WTC and filming it as it crashed down to the ground; yet, we went to Afghanistan to pick up travelers and label them terrorists?

Well, something worse than 1000 WTC's has happened. George Bush and his gang looted the whole world. The world economy is bankrupt and millions have lost their security net...the very one George promised to protect?

roger

“ At one time the United States had legal and judicial institutions which were supposed to establish truth in these matters, but they seem to be undergoing replacement by propaganda and secret police. “

This is such an extraordinary accusation. Do you sense the depth of your accusation against the US government? I would be interested in concrete, verifiable cases of the use of secret police being used to terrorize the US population. Do you have anything (including the Jose Padilla case) which rises to the level of this verified case:

“ On August 1, 1937, although Ginzburg still did not recognize her supposed guilt (despite the NKVD's repeated, ruthless interrogations), a closed meeting of the Military College of the Supreme Court of the USSR (in Moscow) sentenced her to 10 years imprisonment with deprivation of political rights for five years and confiscation of all her personal property. The judgement was declared to be final with no possibility of appeal. Ginzburg later wrote, in a letter to the chairman of the Presidium of the USSR's Supreme Soviet, that her entire "trial" took six minutes, including the questioning and reading of the judgement: "My judges were in such a hurry that they did not answer any of my questions and declarations."[6]

After Stalin's death in 1953 and following Ginzburg's repeated, vigorous appeals to various authorities to have her case reconsidered, she was released from the GULAG (on 25 June 1955) and allowed to return to Moscow. She was rehabilitated in 1955, as were millions of those wrongly convicted under Stalin's rule, many posthumously. “


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevgenia_Ginzburg


roger

Barbara: “ I am not histrionic enough to imagine myself in any way responsible for the torments suffered by Mohamed and Padilla - at least no more responsible than any other American who failed to rise up in revolutionary anger against the Bush terror regime. “

You would have to first demonstrate that the “ Bush terror regime “ exists and then rally a fat and happy population to revolution. The first proposal fails for lack of evidence and the second dependent proposal would fail for apathy.


roger

Anarcissie, if you do not have the facts one way or the other regarding the Mohamed case, how can you then accuse the US government of retaining secret police and adopting lawlessness?

E.Dobbs

Roger:

To Equate the Military Tribunal proceedings against the Trotskyites in 1936,37,and 1938 is just propoganda as is Wikpedia. These trials were not secret. They were open to the public and Joseph Davies, Ambassador to the US wrote extensively about them. The millions of soviet citizens that were executed by the west; their deaths were adequately attributed to the shenanigans of Trotsky and his gang as well as the US, Britain, Germany, and others. Although I did not read her trial of Ginsberg, the fairness of the proceedings was never in doubt except to the western propoganda machine which labeled them as Purge Trials.

They had nothing in common with the stuff that is going on today. What was going on today was the wholesale robbery of the world by a bunch of crooks in the white house. They wanted to shut people up and to fabricate lies. Never once did they want any of their proceedings exposed to the light of day. The trials of the Trotskyites and Ginsberg were all in open court in Moscow. These trials were translated into English and certified by the varioius ambassadors of other countries that bore witness. Unfortunately, the US and Britain and others decided to hide their own crimes by claiming these trials were a travesty of justice and a purge of Stalin's Enemies. What has been going on in America is the crime against our constitution...not that we ever had one.

roger

Dobbs: “ To Equate the Military Tribunal proceedings against the Trotskyites in 1936,37,and 1938 is just propoganda as is Wikpedia. “

“ Adam Ulam and others estimate that in the Soviet Union as a whole, about 500,000 were executed in 1937-39 and somewhere between 3 and 12 million were sent to labor camps. “

--Are you saying that these 500,000 were all Trotskyites and all guilt of crimes against the state? How do you categorize the 10 million who were sent to Siberia to mine gold with inadequate clothing?

http://www.brama.com/ukraine/history/terror/index.html

Dobbs: “ The millions of soviet citizens that were executed by the west; their deaths were adequately attributed to the shenanigans of Trotsky and his gang as well as the US, Britain, Germany, and others. “

--Please provide some manner of citation for this outlandish claim. Do you actually mean millions? Who in the west?

Dobbs: “ Although I did not read her trial of Ginsberg, the fairness of the proceedings was never in doubt except to the western propoganda machine which labeled them as Purge Trials. “

--To refer to the scholarly work of researchers in the west as propaganda is the most ridiculous thing I have read today. I might refer you to Robert Conquest and his extensive work. It is universally accepted in the west that the vast majority of the victims of the purges of 1937 to 1937 were innocent of any crimes.

http://www.nybooks.com/authors/111

--Or perhaps Adam Hochschild:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Eq1sUIzQrzAC&dq=the+unquiet+ghost&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=fwq4Sb7ZLoGStQOqzJg8&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result


Randy

"Bush terror regime"

Barbara:

You are a smart woman, no doubt. You have much more going for you in life than to reduce yourself to unsubstantiated accusations. It is comments like these that make the left wingers look amazingly stupid and out of touch with reality.

E.Dobbs

Roger:
Please read:
Report of Court Proceedings in the case of the Anti-Soviet “Bloc of Rights and Trotyskyiotes “ heard before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the uSSR Moscow March 2-13, 1938, Verbatim Report, Published by the Peoples Commissariat of Justice of the USSR Moscow 1938.

These were the last trials before Churchill and Hitler waged war against Russia overtly. Millions of Russians died because of them. They even caused famines and killed millions of Russians. Our government helped Trotsky. I am not sure if he worked for the US covert intellegence or for the World Zionists? However, this book is a documentation of their crimes against Russia before the war.

As for during the war, the west wanted Germany to destroy Russia because they never set up a 2nd Front.

roger

“ These were the last trials before Churchill and Hitler waged war against Russia overtly. “

--If you are placing Churchill and Hitler as allies against the Russians prior to the Second World War then you will need to help me with that point of history. If you are saying that each waged war separately then please cite when Churchill declared war against Russia.

“ Millions of Russians died because of them. “

--Again the need will be for some citation or reference which links Churchill and Hitler in an effort to kill millions of Russians.

“ They even caused famines and killed millions of Russians. “

--What dates? Where? If it is the Ukrainian famine which you are referencing I would have to say that Stalin was attempting the collectivization of Ukrainian farms to feed the urban areas and punish Ukraine for the position it took against Moscow:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Bp31GmfH-6YC&dq=harvest+++conquest&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=YGK5SYvZBpKmsAOArM05&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPP1,M1

“ Our government helped Trotsky. “

--and this means what?

“ I am not sure if he worked for the US covert intellegence or for the World Zionists? “

--What are you talking about here?

barbsright

Barbara E., I saw you interviewed by John Stossil on 20/20 last night. Do you think your book Nickel and Dimed would have been a different book if you had stayed in one job for a year? I ask this because I wonder what percentage of people never have a chance for a decent paying job. What do you think the predictors are when it comes to being perennially under payed. I know it is not education. I think it is personality. What is your opinion?

The Eternal Squire

I've been away from this board for a year, and I came back to see what peoples' reactions were now that the predictions of the Cassandras on this board have actually come true.

Seems that the attitudes and reactions after the economic collapse are no different than the ones before.

I guess for being jobless I am extremely lucky. Now I am the wife in this household and the wife is the husband.

I hold degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, with 15 years of work experience. But I have not been able to find any such work in 3 years.

I also have not been able to find any of the $8 per hour work or less, because employers keep telling me I am 'overqualified'.

At least I will never starve for being a kept man, but I am very bored though.

Anyone have ideas for products I can build and sell?

The Eternal Squire

barbsright

'Eternal Squire', I thought you were working for Microsoft now, or was that someone else on this board?

The Eternal Squire

Oboy... Do I have a news to relate: I worked for no more than 4 1/2 days for Microsoft through a contracting firm, only to be told: "You need to leave the campus immediately. We have the 'gut feel' that you will not be a good fit with our team."
I went back home, utterly crushed, and have not been able to find lasting work since.

barbsright

'Eternal Squire', I have a friend who was treated the same way at temp jobs, and security guard jobs. Women do not like working with him because he is socially clumsy, and he may have Aspergers syndrome. Also, he likes Science Fiction, and is good at computer programing. I told him to get tested for personality disorders because one can get on Social Security that way. (Aspergers and schizoid disorder may be the same, but SSI recognizes schizoid but probably not Aspergers, so getting tested for personality disorders makes more sense). You should find out why they wanted you to leave the campus immediately, the same thing happened to my friend (most likely due to complaints from women).

Chickensh*tEagle

Apparently our government felt sufficiently em-bare-assed by Mohamed's story to try getting him to shut his mouth as a condition of release:

http://www.alternet.org/rights/133218/how_the_u.s._tried_to_bribe_a_gitmo_prisoner_into_silence/

lc2

Um ... I emphatically disagree with you, barbsright. Why lend legitimacy to the idea that being smart and having strong interests is a "disorder" by applying for "disability" ? Talk about a self-inflicted wound. Read Barbara's book about corporate job hunting to see what I mean. Not to sound paranoid, but allowing the gov't to classify personality types as "disorders" is a very dangerous road to tread.

Funny, China and India don't seem to have a problem with their citizens who are hyper-focused on technology, programming, and such.

barbsright

Ic2, before I answer your question, I will ask you one? What has happened to Barbara? What has happened to everyone else who used to 'post' here? 'The chickens are finally coming home to roost', but Barbara has no 'I told you so's' because she has 'flown the coup'! Talk about 'chickening out'!!!
Anyway Ic2, the reason I and 'The Eternal Squire', and anyone else, should get 'labeled' with a disorder is to get money, and benefits, from the government. According to Social Security if you cannot make a living up to your ability, then you are disabled. 'The Eternal Squire and myself, fit this description. Underemployment, and unemployment, for a long time, are symptoms of the disorder. Truth is, once upon a time people who were 'different' were more accepted in the workforce, but there are less 'good' jobs about today, so people are often judged on personality, not just performance. And it is getting worse all the time.

Bonnie Warren

Barbara,

Every time Iraq/torture/detainees topics come back up in the media, I start getting this nauseated, surreal feeling.

Does it feel any better knowing that there is more and more evidence that not only did people representing the "U.S." torture people, but they may have tortured them explicitly to gin up the evidence for a war against Iraq? It wasn't the moral dilemma of "a ticking time-bomb"afterall... For me, it has this sickening feeling of deja vue.

Right now, the idea of keeping Gitmo open seems to me a way of continuing to keep those prisoners out of the U.S. and away from any possibility of being interviewed by the press.

So much for "being open".

Will there ever be justice? Simple truth will not be enough for me, I'm afraid to say.

Chris

Oh Barbara I don not draw the line with torture. Of course it would depend on who. Like nearly everyone on Wall Street and a good may involved with the Health Care Industry.

Seeing them flogged would please me no end.

Chris

Lori

Well, at least you didn't sign up with CACI at the job fair.

r green

thank you, always a pleasure here.

MV

If this man is as guilty as some posters here believe him to be, why is he free? My guess is lack of evidence. If this is true, then, in spite of the absence of evidence, this person has lost several years of his life (best case scenario) and has been traumatized by being tortured (worst case scenario).

Ron Graves

Barbara, just a thought, but by the time Mohamed was arrested, his temporary right to British residency had long since lapsed, and he had no legal right to be returned here. Why he was is a mystery yet to be explained - he should have been sent to Ethiopia.

Marionette

I don't think a country can claim any kind of moral high ground when it routinely tortures prisoners within its care.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=526832595

"I would be interested in concrete, verifiable cases of the use of secret police being used to terrorize the US population."

COINTELPRO in the sixties. FBI vs. socialists and communists earlier than that. FBI *again* in the nineties against the deep ecologists.

Oh wait, you meant REAL Americans. Christian, white, Republican, and consumerist as hell. Gotcha.

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