A book review in The Economist
(June 9, 2005 edition) of a book by a military intelligence soldier describing the effect being in Guantánamo had on him. This is probably nothing new to people here, although I hadn't heard of this particular book. It also might be useful to send around to any moderate conservative friends you have, since The Economist
is well known as a fairly conservative newsmagazine—and even supported the war in Iraq—so may hold more weight than sending them an article from, say, The Nation
would (though the magazine is "liberal" in the classical sense, so very pro-human-rights and pro-civil-liberties).
It's hard to expand on The Economist
's summary, which is pretty powerful, so I'll just exerpt from it and link to the article:
The struggle [in Erik Saar's mind between his beliefs about right and wrong and his duty as a soldier] was lost during the interrogation of a 21-year-old Saudi. The man was believed to have taken flight training with two of the September 11th hijackers. Interrogators got nothing from him. After each gruelling session, he returned to his cell and prayed, but a female interrogator sought to break him by making him feel dirty before his God. With the prisoner shackled in an uncomfortable position, she unbuttoned her blouse and began rubbing her breasts against him. "Do you like these big American tits?" she asked. She made another sexually crude remark, then added, "How do you think Allah feels about that?"
The prisoner spat in her face. She grew cruder. She told him she was having her period, unbuttoned her military trousers and wiped what she said was menstrual blood on his face (it wasn't blood; it was from a red magic marker). He screamed but did not break. Outside the room, she began to cry. So too did Mr Saar. "I hated myself." Tears rolled down his cheeks. He went home, and took a shower, but "there wasn't enough hot water in all of Cuba to make me feel clean." Not a policy to be proud of.
These are not American values.