Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just Helping Out

Some congress critters got quite an earful about US treatment of the Uighurs held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, according to this McClatchy DC article.

U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, actively helped Chinese interrogators question members of China's Uighur minority, including physically restraining them so they could be photographed against their will, according to testimony presented Thursday to a congressional subcommittee. ...

Human rights advocates have accused the U.S. of helping China gather information from the Uighurs for use against their friends and families back home, where tension between the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and the dominant Han Chinese frequently breaks into public protest and violence.
[Emphasis added]

That assistance extended to "softening" the prisoners up in the days before the Chinese interrogators arrived and assisting the Chinese during the interrogations, which is bad enough. However, the military also handed over information gotten from the Uighurs after promising the information would be kept confidential:

Among the Uighurs' claims:

_ U.S. military personnel treated them harshly in the days before Chinese officials visited the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in an effort to soften them up for interrogation.

_ That harsh treatment included keeping the detainees awake, subjecting them to frigid temperatures, and keeping them isolated from one another and other prisoners. All of those techniques were approved for use on detainees by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

_ U.S. soldiers followed Chinese officials' orders to restrain detainees they said weren't cooperating. One detainee testified that an American told him the harsh treatment he'd received after his interrogation had been at the direction of the Chinese. ...

The Uighurs also complained that information they'd given to Americans on the condition of confidentiality had been shared with the Chinese officials, who flaunted it during the interrogations.

Not only did the US complicity affect the Uighurs directly, it also extended to their family members and friends back in China. I think we can expect more violence in China with respect to the Uighurs, and the targets will be easier to locate thanks to the US assistance.

It's amazing the lengths a debtor nation will go to keep its creditors happy, eh? We'll even do their dirty work for them.


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