Bush Acknowledges Secret CIA Prisons
Sep 06 1:59 PM US/Eastern
By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press Writer
President Bush has transferred 14 key terrorist leaders from secret CIA custody to the U.S. military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be prepared for eventual trials, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
So now we have Presidential confirmation that the US has been operating completely secret, off-shore prisons for at least the past five years.
Nobody knows where these prisons are, how long they have existed, who has been held in them, how many people are in them, the charges against them, how many people have been tortured, how many have died, how many of these prisons still exist, how many people are still in them, who they are, what they have been charged with, if they are being tortured, how they have been tortured and when if ever they will be released.
Apparently, we are not entitled to this information. After all we are only paying for all of this. And whatever has and is being done is only being done in our name, on our behalf, on behalf of our "ideals," is wholly funded with our money, and is happening on our watch.
Oh ... our watch? Like you or me ? That kind of "our watch" ? Is this some kind of ship ?
You know people I'm not black but there's a whole lot of times I wish I could say I'm not white.
-- Frank Zappa, 1965.
I must admit I have now lost whatever faith and belief I had in this country since I was a child. Not because of these secret gulags. But because I know that nobody in the US is even going to bat an eyelash about them. Even this revelation will be immediately consumed and subsumed by meaningless debate, discussion, spin and analysis that quickly veers to ancillary and trivial topics. Then the new message and debating point of the day will be marched forward onto the Plain of Jars like the Trojan rabbit in Monty Python's Holy Grail. Knowing History as it happens has not been forbidden. Instead, we have reduced US History as it happens to one potato chip in a very large bag -- to be grasped, crunched, swallowed and forgotten. And then the next chip is grasped.
This is not, as my brother says, a general human problem. This is an American problem. Humans, as a species, are not now operating secret gulags. Inuits in the Yukon Territory are not. Micronesians are not. People from Solon, Maine are not. People from South Africa are not. People from Sweden are not. Right now, the only now we know, this is a problem unique to Americans since we have elected into high office the people who have created these secret gulags. It is our problem and nobody else's. It will not be solved until we solve it. If we do not solve it, then we are fully and solely responsible for its consequences.
No Americans were allowed to vote on whether the US should operate secret prisons in other parts of the world. No Americans were given the chance to vote on whether they support US personnel torturing and killing people in these secret prisons. Yet for the past five years, apparently, this has been done under our sanction and with our tacit permission, even though we never granted it. This is like a bird where the head attacks the claws and the claws attack the head. They are connected but do not have any communication with one another. In this sense, my brother is correct. This organism, the American one, is now eating itself alive through the myth that one can feed itself by consuming its own flesh and blood.
It is not a pretty sight. I Tispaquin, now dead and head-severed for 330 years, can view this scene somewhat dispassionately. Few today know what happened to me, my relatives and my people or that they once existed. I now look at this series of events and wonder if my fate is now overtaking those I see from afar in 2006 and if they will become as forgotten as me.