Guest Blogger GottaLaff: "Hey Judith Miller, Call Fayiz al-Kandari. He Begs to Differ About "Model Prison" Gitmo, Torture"

Continuing my guest blogging feature, which I think I will now make a regular Sunday feature, GottaLaff had an excellent piece about the notorious for NY Times/Cheney stenographer, Judith Miller, and Guantánamo prisoner Fayiz al-Kandari (originally posted at the The Political Carnival on October 25, 2009):

Hey Judith Miller, call Fayiz al-Kandari. He begs to differ about "model prison" Gitmo, torture
In an interview with PJTV's Bill Whittle on Friday, former New York Times reporter and now Fox News pundit Judith Miller had nothing but praise for the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and claimed that not only was no one ever subjected waterboarding there, but that any harsh treatment took place only during the first four months of its opening.
Hey Judith, you might try interviewing Lt. Col. Barry Wingard. He'll be happy to introduce you to what many of us like to call "facts".

Oh wait. He's unavailable for awhile, because he's in the middle of Fayiz al Kandari's Gitmo hearings. See, Fayiz has been imprisoned and mistreated for about 8 years now. Most of those 8 years were spent in a cell at Gitmo, where stuff like this happened.

Tell you what, Judy: If you don't think any of those things constitute torture, I'm sure someone would be more than happy to subject you to one tenth of what Fayiz has been through and see what you call it then.
Asked by Whittle if Gitmo still had a bad reputation overseas, Miller expressed dismay that, indeed, Gitmo carried the stigma of many media reports of torture and abuse at the facility, "Even though this hasn't been true for many, many years now," she explained. "No one was ever waterboarded at Guantanamo, according to Guantanamo officials," Miller continued. "Torture as ordinary people would call it took place only during four months when it first opened...like sleep deprivation, being doused with ice cold water...things that don't meet current standards."
Here's an excerpt from an op-ed Barry wrote a short time ago, aptly called "It’s Not Just About Waterboarding." He sent it to me in an e-mail:
At Guantanamo, he was again shackled into stress positions for extended periods of time. He was also urinated on and subjected to sleep deprivation, strobe lights, ear piercing music, cell extractions, and extreme heat and cold conditions in his cell via temperature controls, and of course the faith generated female interrogation.

All told, Al-Kandari has been interrogated approximately 400 times and abused throughout the time he was in U.S. custody.
To this day, Fayiz, NOT a high-value detainee, continues to be abused. Oh wait. Judy the Expert believes the Gitmo officers, because they have no reason to lie whatsoever:
"Although it's true that a 2005 Pentagon report concluded, after examining 26 complaints from FBI agents involving a small portion of more than 24,000 interrogations at Gitmo, that a few "high-value detainees" had been subjected to treatment that was "degrading and abusive," it "did not rise to the level of prohibited inhumane treatment" or torture. Furthermore, those techniques -- such as loud music, sleep deprivation, temperature manipulation and prolonged shackling -- ended long ago at Gitmo, officers say."
Just ignore the Kuwaiti guy whose confidential attorney-client correspondence has been stolen, read, re-sealed (by those Boy Scouts who work at Guantanamo Bay), and finally sent on to Lt. Col. Wingard. Who are you going to believe, him or the Gitmo thugs who continue to put him through hell? After all, they'd have no reason to cover their sorry asses, now would they?

Video from Pajamas Media TV, broadcast Oct. 23, 2009:


Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

All my previous posts on this subject matter can be found here; That link includes one specific to only Fayiz al-Kandari's story here. Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

If you are inclined to help rectify these injustices: Twitterers, use the hashtag #FreeFayiz. We have organized a team to get these stories out. If you are interested in helping Fayiz out, e-mail me at The Political Carnival, address in sidebar to the right; or tweet me at @GottaLaff.

If you'd like to see other ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer's book The Dark Side. You'll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I'm all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz's story here, at Answers.com.
Read many more great post by GottaLaff at The Political Carnival.

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