Sunday, March 30, 2008

Torture: Whom do you believe? Murat Kurnaz or Bryan Whitman?

This evening on CBS's "60 Minutes" Murat Kurnaz, a German resident held by the U.S. for almost five years, will describe the many ways Americans tortured him. When he was first captured, he claims he was hung from the ceiling for five days.

The March 29th Washington Post article, "Ex-Afghanistan Detainee Alleges Torture by U.S." reports that Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said, “The abuses Mr. Kurnaz alleges are not only unsubstantiated, they are implausible and outlandish." [emphasis mine]

If you don’t know much about Bryan Whitman, go to this January 16th, 2008 article "Bogus Iran story was product of Pentagon spokesman.” Excerpt: “…[I]n an apparent slip-up, however, an Associated Press story that morning cited Whitman as the source for the statement that US ships were about to fire when the Iranian boats turned and moved away - a part of the story that other correspondents had attributed to an unnamed Pentagon official."

Since Kurnaz’s alleged torture occurred several years ago, you may conclude that the U.S. has changed its ways. Not according to Scott Horton, who blogs for Harper's Magazine at No Comment posted his remarks delivered on March 28th at the City [New York] University Law Review Symposium “Preventing Torture”here. It’s worth reading. The final paragraph: “The torture policy of the Bush Administration is a policy of, by and for torturers. It marks a radical departure from prior U.S. policies of honorable compliance with the Convention [against Torture]….”

I hope you’ll watch "60 Minutes" this evening and decide for yourself whether or not you think Kurnaz is telling the truth about what happened to him.

(photo of Kurnaz: CBS News)


Laura and Dan's Updates said...

I saw this show. I believe every word he said and I am sure the US has not changed it's ways. Good for you taking up this cause!

Gail Jonas said...

Laura and Dan,
Thanks for your comment. I listened to Murat on public radio yesterday, and I, too, have no doubt that he's telling the truth. One of the callers totally dissed him, and Murat handled it incredibly well.