Letter: Apology unnecessary

Senator Durbin never should have apologized for telling the truth (DI 6-22-05). If FBI agents can stand up and describe torture in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Durbin could go much further.

Over two years after the war in Afghanistan officially ended, hundreds of prisoners of war captured there are still being held without trial or charges, in violation of international law. In 2002, the Bush administration refused to follow the Geneva Conventions but promised the International Red Cross could interview all prisoners. They broke that promise.

Human rights groups including Amnesty International have repeatedly found evidence that “numerous detainees in Guantanamo – as well as in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere – have been subjected to direct torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” at the hands of U.S. jailers and interrogators. Add to this recent allegations of “torture techniques” made by FBI agents.

Reports detail chaining prisoners to the floor without food or water or access to toilets, keeping prisoners barefoot with other parts exposed in extremely cold rooms, depriving them of sleep until blood ran out their noses, keeping one prisoner chained up draped in an Israeli flag while blaring rap music, and transferring prisoners back and forth to Egypt and other countries for more intense torture far from the prying eyes of those bleeding hearts at the FBI. Some of these prisoners are children.

Last month Amnesty concluded that the Guantanamo prison is “the gulag of our time” and “an icon of lawlessness.” Apparently pleased with this, the Bush administration is now expanding the gulag and giving Halliburton the contract. It is this murderous administration and its bloodless apologists we should be denouncing, not Durbin and Amnesty and the courageous FBI agents who are exposing the crimes we claim we abhor.

Ricky Baldwin

Urbana resident