Guantanamo is denounced all around the world as the gulag to end all gulags because of shocking torture revelations such as this:Sweet! To read it all, subscribe to National Review or pick up a copy at your local bookstore.
"A female interrogatore took an unusual approach to wear down a detainee, reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. He turned his back and put his hands over his ears."
Good grief, what next? Will they force detainees to sit through PBS plegde-drive weeks, watching the same Peter. Paul & Mary reunion specials over and over, punctuated only by local announcers touting the complimentary Bill Moyers mug you receive for a $200 "level of membership"?
If J.K. Rowling is the Torquemada de nos jours, nothing should surprise us. Nonetheless, even in my jaded state, I was taken aback by the remarks of Andrew Jaspan, editor of the Melbourne Age, one of Australia's biggest newspapers. You'll recall that Douglas Wood, an Aussie taken hostage in Iraq, was recently rescued, and immediately apologized to John Howard and President Bush for a video statement he'd made during his capture calling for the withdrawal of coalition forces. No apology necessary: Obviously such demands are made under duress, and it's only the media's insistence on treating them as a serious contribution to foreign-policy analysis that gives them any currency whatsoever. He then went on to describe his captors as "a**holes", or, if you prefer, "assh***s."
The Age's editor didn't care for this brusque mean-spirited judgmentalism. As Mr. Jaspan told Australia's ABC network, "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a**hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought-through and I think demeans the man andis one of the reasons why people are slightly skeptical of his motives and everything else. The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive."
Here's more on Andrew Jaspan, BTW. I did a google search to find out if he'd ever made any references to Guantanamo, just for comparison, but all I found were a bunch of bloggers saying what I'm about to say: Dude, the prisoners at Guantanamo are fed THREE times a day, and are treated significantly better than Mr. Woods was during his captivity. Sheesh.