Can We Sink Lower In The Eyes of The World?
by James Glaser
April 28, 2008

The answer is, yes we can.

We have all read the polls these last seven years and seen how world opinion about the United States has fallen to historic lows. We now know that the majority of the world believes that George Bush is more of an impediment to peace than is Osama bin Laden, or any one else for that matter.

The world knows what goes on in America: they know about our poor, our disenfranchised, and they know that we have more people in prison that any nation on earth. The world watches our movies and television shows. They understand that we as a population are fed on violence and crime.

But now we are sinking to an even lower level in the minds of the rest of the world. We are now being accused by members of our own military, of driving prisoners insane before we put them on trial.

No, you won't read about things like this in American newspapers or hear it on our national television media outlets, as they are to busy wondering about Barack Obama's minister or if Hillary Clinton is going to sabotage Obama's campaign so she can run again in 2012.

However, the International Herald Tribune ran a column by William Glaberson on Sunday titled, Guantanamo Drives Prisoners Insane, Lawyers Say. The lawyers are American military officers and defense lawyers like Lieutenant Commander Brian Mizer, who has asked the military judge to stop the case.

Next month, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni who was once a driver for Osama bin Laden, could become the first detainee to be tried for war crimes in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. By now, he should be busily working on his defense.

But his lawyers say he cannot. They say Hamdan, already the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, has essentially been driven insane by solitary confinement in a tiny cell where he spends at least 22 hours a day, goes to the bathroom and eats all his meals. His defense team says he is suicidal, hears voices, has flashbacks, talks to himself and says the restrictions of Guantanamo "boil his mind."

Remember these are American officers who are saying that we are driving our prisoners insane, not the international press

Lawyers for detainees argue that the effects of intense isolation have gradually turned the prison camp into something of a highly fortified mental ward. Hamdan's lawyers say his place as one of the best-known detainees has not spared him.

In more than six years of detention, Hamdan has had two phone calls to his family and no visits. He has been disciplined, legal filings say, for having a Snickers bar that was given to him by his lawyers and for possessing too many socks.

"Conditions are asphalt, excrement and worse," he wrote his lawyers in February. "Why, why, why?"

Think about how you would fare after over six years of solitary confinement? I remember when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the world and the prisoners that even if they were found innocent, they would not be set free. Solitary confinement year after year with no hope at all would drive anyone insane.

When the world thinks of our prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they think of men and boys living in small wire cages out in the elements. They think of the torture described by our own FBI agents that I wrote about back in 2006:

There have been FBI reports about how these prisoners have been chained to the floor for days, where they have had to defecate and urinate on themselves, and how some of them have gone so crazy that they have pulled their own hair out of their heads.

So we now have the International Press quoting American military officers about how we are driving prisoners insane. In the past we have had FBI agents saying the same thing, but for some reason the American media refuses to even bring the story up.

The American people wonder why much of the world now hates and mistrusts us, but the fact is, the rest of the world is getting the news that is kept from us, and if it weren't for the internet we would never know. Our media is a Corporate Media, and they have no desire to let us know what America is really doing here and around the world.

Tell me the last time you saw a front page report on the number of American troops killed and wounded in any given day, week, or month? That story is old news as far as our media is concerned, and all they will talk about is how George Bush's troops surge is working.

Face it, Americans are kept in the dark as to what is really going on in this world. All you have to do is watch any presidential debate and listen to the questions the media thinks are important, and you will know I am right.

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