Friday, March 20, 2009

My habit of reading the local fishwrap every morning goes back decades and has descended into ritual rather that any real attempt at gathering anything more than local gossip. Of course if you follow the blind squirrel philosophy, you occasionally find the requisite acorn. Or acorns.
I read three articles today that seemed to follow a common thread. The theme became apparent by the third story, but I think I'll relate them in reverse order.

Third headline: Many Iraqis Held By US Will Go Free This Summer.
As we wind down the active occupation of Iraq, we will release thousands of prisoners that are being held with no charges and little or no proof of wrong doing. The US has admitted to detaining over 100,000, but that figure is undoubtedly low. The prisoners were to be screened for prosecution but only 129 of the over 13,000 still in custody are slated for trial. Mostly this has been classic concentration camp internment with fores into depravity like Abu Graib.

Second headline: Unit Returns Home From Gitmo.
A digest story about the return of 13 Wisconsin National Guard members who are returning from a year long stint of public relations from Guantonamo Bay.
"Unit members escorted about 400 journalists on tours of the detention facility and wrote articles on the military commissions for dissemination by military radio stations and publications. Members also took official photographs of dignitaries who visited."
Capt. Kim Kleiman was quoted as saying, "We were able to affect world opinion on Gitmo"

First headline: Ex-Nazi Guard, Living Here, Sent Back To Austria.
Josias Kumpf, now 83, was drafted at age 17 into the SSDeath's Head guard forces in 1942 and went on to oversee prisoners at camps in Poland and France. Kumpf's lawyer maintained that he never actually killed anyone but was present when killings occurred. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that "...he presided over and witnessed the torture and murder of helpless people."

Three stories. Three different places. Three unconnected events. I wonder if Capt. Kleiman or one of the US troops who guarded Iraqis prisoners will find themselves somewhere outside of the US, maybe even 40 years from now, and will have to explain just what they were doing in 2009. I guess I won't be reading the morning fishwrap by then.


Kid Charles said...

This is completely unrelated, but I saw your Donald Fagan I.G.Y. reference in that Atrios SUPERTRAIN-related open thread, and came here to express my enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering the same thing.