Our Righteous Cause

Again I go to Irregular Times. J. Matthew writes about Our Righteous Cause:

“These people are motivated by a vision of the world that is backward and barbaric.” — George W. Bush, May 20, 2005

“We are not chaining people to the ceilings.” — General Daniel K. McNeill

“There is no neutral ground — no neutral ground — in the fight between civilization and terror, because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death. ” — George W. Bush, March 19, 2004

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.”

“The men on the wall here have put themselves on the list because of great acts of evil. They plan, promote and commit murder. They fill the minds of others with hate and lies. And by their cruelty and violence, they betray whatever faith they espouse. ” — George W. Bush, October 10, 2001

Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar’s face. “Come on, drink!” the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as the prisoner gagged on the spray. “Drink!”

“This effort is part of a worldwide assault on terror. All our allies and friends will now be familiar with these evildoers and their associates. For those who join our coalition, we expect results.” — George W. Bush, October 10, 2001

“He had constantly been screaming, ‘Release me; I don’t want to be here.’ and things like that.”

“We’re going to find those who — those evil-doers, those barbaric people…” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2003

“He screamed out, ‘Allah! Allah! Allah!’ and my first reaction was that he was crying out to his god,” Specialist Jones said to his investigators. “Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny… It became a kind of running joke, and people kept showing up to give this detainee a common peroneal strike just to hear him scream out ‘Allah,’” he said. “It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes.”

“I want justice. There’s an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.’ ” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001

At the interrogator’s behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling. “Leave him up,” one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying. Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen.

“We’re a great nation. We’re a nation of resolve. We’re a nation that can’t be cowed by evil-doers.” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001

…the tissue in the young man’s legs “had basically been pulpified… I’ve seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus,” the coroner, Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, added.

“This is a new kind of — a new kind of evil. And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient.” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001

It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

“We fight against evil people.” — George W. Bush, October 17, 2001

The three passengers in Mr. Dilawar’s taxi were sent home from Guantanamo in March 2004, 15 months after their capture, with letters saying they posed “no threat” to American forces.

They were later visited by Mr. Dilawar’s parents, who begged them to explain what had happened to their son. But the men said they could not bring themselves to recount the details. “I told them he had a bed,” said Mr. Parkhudin. “I said the Americans were very nice because he had a heart problem.”

“Their hearts are filled with evil. They are — you can’t negotiate with them. There is no peace treaty you can sign with these kind of people. They’ve got a dim vision of the world. I resolved then that I will do whatever it takes to defend America.” — George W. Bush, July 9, 2004

Military spokesmen maintained that both men had died of natural causes, even after military coroners had ruled the deaths homicides.

Read more about the wrongful detention, torture and death of Dilawar in an article by Tim Golden in New York Times, from which the italicized text is taken.

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