Tuesday, January 19, 2010

American Psycho

Spell_IIThis story was broken by Scott Horton at his Harper's blog (in anticipation of publication) yesterday morning, picked up by Yglesias the same day, and systematically spread across the liberal web spectrum:
"...new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the George W. Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006.

Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently...

None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.

As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Guantánamo to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths “suicides.” In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. “I believe this was not an act of desperation,” he said, “but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

Two years later, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which has primary investigative jurisdiction within the naval base, issued a report supporting the account originally advanced by Harris, now a vice-admiral in command of the Sixth Fleet...

The NCIS report was carefully cross-referenced and deciphered by students and faculty at the law school of Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and their findings, released in November 2009, made clear why the Pentagon had been unwilling to make its conclusions public. The official story of the prisoners’ deaths was full of unacknowledged contradictions, and the centerpiece of the report—a reconstruction of the events—was simply unbelievable."

Yet a Google search of the story reveals almost no establishment press reports on this important piece. The NY Times buried it in "US News" so deeply you can't even find it once you leave the page it's on. The silence is so astounding that even the conservative-leaning Sully remarked on it. In the best American Gothic tradition, we continue to lock up our dirty secrets in the attic, and Aunt Edith at the Times and Brother Billy at the Post make sure the neighbors don't find out.

To read the entire 136 page report on which Horton based his story, click here. Maybe Eric Holder can now put his resources where his mouth used to be.

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