I hope he at least got a big plate of Noodles Jefferson

This is why Dick Durbin should not have apologized. They do act like nazis.

Via This Modern World
You might remember a horrific story that came out last year: Sean Baker, an MP at Guantánamo, was ordered -- or volunteered, according to some reports -- to pose as an uncooperative prisoner in a training exercise. The trainees did not know he was an American soldier, and treated him the way they'd treat any other prisoner who didn't do exactly as he was told. They beat him. Badly:
"My face was down. And of course, they’re pushing it down against the steel floor, you know, my right temple, pushing it down against the floor," recalls Baker. "And someone’s holding me by the throat, using a pressure point on me and holding my throat. And I used the word, ‘red.’ At that point I, you know, I became afraid."

Apparently, no one heard the code word ‘red’ because Baker says he continued to be manhandled, especially by an MP named Scott Sinclair who was holding onto his head.

"And when I said the word ‘Red,’ he forced my head down against the steel floor and was sort of just grinding it into the floor. The individual then, when I picked up my head and said, ‘Red,’ slammed my head down against the floor," says Baker. "I was so afraid, I groaned out, ‘I’m a U.S. soldier.' And when I said that, he slammed my head again, one more time against the floor. And I groaned out one more time, I said, ‘I’m a U.S. soldier.’ And I heard them say, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa,' you know, like he wanted to, he was telling the other guy to stop."
He suffered a brain injury, and sometimes had as many as a dozen seizures a day.

The Army, of course, dealt with the matter immediately -- in its own way. First, the tape of what happened -- the drills are routinely videotaped -- conveniently disappeared. A military spokesperson said there probably was no tape, although two of the MPs involved in the drill told investigators that it was filmed.

Then there was another lie: The Army insisted that Specialist Baker's discharge was unrelated to his injuries, (They later backed down.)

No one has ever been punished for the assault. An internal investigation in 2003 concluded that no one was liable because the injuries were a "foreseeable consequence" of the drill.

My rough translation: This is no more than what anyone would expect in the treatment of an "uncooperative detainee." Moving right along.....

The story was back in the news this weekend because Sean Baker is suing the Pentagon for $15 million for violating his rights. To his enormous credit, Mr. Baker demonstrated early on that he understands that the scandal here is not that an American soldier was treated so horribly, but that anyone is treated this way. He understands that it would have been far worse if he had not finally been able to make it clear that he was American:
What does he think would have happened if he had been a real detainee? "I think they would have busted him up," says Baker. "I've seen detainees come outta there with blood on 'em. …If there wasn't someone to say, 'I'm a U.S. soldier,' if you were speaking Arabic or Pashto or Urdu or some other language in the camp, we may never know what would have happened to that individual."
His case reveals how routine such treatment is at Guantánamo, and elsewhere. Baker didn't have to do anything other than be labeled uncooperative to be beaten up. The Army saw no need for an inquiry because the MPs were simply doing what they were trained to do. By the end of this month, we're going to be seeing some visual documentation of how routine this treatment is. (Pause for black humor: The government's lawyer argued against releasing video and more photos from Abu Ghraib on the grounds that it would subject detainees to "additional humiliation.")

This is one story I really wish more Americans knew about, because it would slice right through the blankets of denial most people are wrapped in. And if it weren't for that denial, there's no way we would be talking about the time being ripe for promoting Ricardo Sanchez, something that seemed politically awkward only recently, but fine now, the Pentagon believes, because concern about torturing prisoners is "receding in the rear-view mirror of public opinion."
Objects in that mirror may be closer than they appear. We'll see when the Abu Ghraib videos come out.

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