Jeanne, who is going to join Tom Tomorrow in what is turning into a wonderful group blog, has been doing some good blogging on the Afghan prisoner abuse story. Here she focuses on one victim:
Dilawar was a shy, frail, uneducated cab driver who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time — driving past a base that had been the target of a rocket attack earlier in the day. He was arrested by Afghan militiamen who turned him over to the Americans. This past February, the commander of that militia was himself arrested. He is suspected of attacking the base and turning over innocent men like Dilawar to the Americans in order to curry favor with our military. Before Dilawar’s final interrogation, the one that finally killed him, most of the interrogators had already realized that he was innocent.
We snatched an innocent young man out of his quiet life and beat him to death, even after we knew he was innocent.
She also quotes from the NY Times article which makes it clear that many of the beatings were due to the prisoner’s poor grasp of English:
When the detainees were beaten or kicked for “noncompliance,” one of the interpreters, Ali M. Baryalai said, it was often “because they have no idea what the M.P. is saying.”
Kevin Drum looked at the same article and noticed that senior officers were aware of the abuse, but did nothing to stop it.
Jeanne also wonders if Tom Friedman is “astute enough” to be embarrassed by his column, printed on the same day as the abuse story, in which he argues that “we must have the courage to tell Muslims the ‘truth’ — that ’they are behaving in ways that don’t live up to the values they profess.””