Weekly Standard finally concerned about detainee abuse

The man who said "boo hoo" to critics of Bush torture policies decries the imagined abuse of an Israeli.

By Glenn Greenwald

Published June 25, 2009 10:26PM (EDT)

(updated below)

Former McCain aide Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard notes a report from Haaretz about the likely imminent release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli solider captured three years ago by Palestinians and held ever since.  Goldfarb speculates:

One shudders to think about the conditions of his confinement.

Previously, Goldfarb accused Bush critics of "trivializing torture" and wrote:

The Times indicts the Bush administration for exposing terrorists captured abroad to "head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures." Boo hoo.

"Boo hoo" -- about a torture regime that resulted in the deaths of numerous detainees and which the U.S. repeatedly called "torture" when practiced by others.  Is there anything easier than imaginging the glass-shattering shrieking that would emit from Goldfarb and friends if there were videos showing Shalit disoriented from months of sleep deprivation at the hands of his Palestinian captors, being kept naked and chained in stress positions, made to stay that way in freezing temperatures with cold water repeatedly thrown on him, slapped and "walled," and then strapped down on a board and drowned 183 times?  During the Israeli attack on Gaza, after an Israeli bomb killed an entire large family of a Hamas member -- wives, siblings and small children -- Goldfarb speculated about all the benefits that come from "wip[ing] out a man's entire family."  So much of these debates ultimately come down to nothing more complicated than:  what we do is Good and Right because we are superior and because they are inferior.

* * * * * 

Speaking of which:  Joe Lieberman today accused those of not wanting to "meddle" in Iran's politics of insufficient concern for The Iranian People (in the same way that those opposing the invasion of Iraq were "pro-Saddam").  But in 2007, Lieberman advocated that we drop bombs on Iran as part of "aggressive military action against the Iranians" that (whether intended or not) would have killed at least some of the very same Iranian People who, today, he's pretending to defend.  That the very same people who long advocated dropping bombs on Iranians are today allowed to parade around as their defenders is really one of the more remarkable and ludicrous spectacles seen in some time.  


UPDATE:  Haaretz has an article today, based on interviews with experts, describing what they call the "severe trauma" Shalit likely suffered from isolation as the only Israeli prisoner in Palestinian custody (h/t sysprog).  Prolonged solitary confinement is absolutely a form of torture, and while it's unknown whether Shalit was subjected to that, extreme isolation and prolonged solitary confinement are prominents features of America's prisoner system -- not only as part of the "War on Terror," but our domestic prison system as well.

Glenn Greenwald

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