Information Warfare: Let's Hear It For The Bad Guys


March 23, 2007: If one thing never seems to go away, it is the claims of abuse and/or torture at Guantanamo Bay. The latest claim comes from an Australian detainee captured around the time of the American Taliban, Johnny Walker Lindh. In this case, the media outlet pushing the story is the International Herald Tribune, a subsidiary of the New York Times. It is the big lie that never goes away, having hit everything from newspapers to the floor of the United States Senate to the TV series "Law and Order: Criminal Intent".

This is just the latest in a number of instances where torture has been claimed, with no backup to prove it. In 2005, most of the allegations raised against Guantanamo Bay (some of which were repeated on the Senate floor) were found to be unfounded or not inhumane. Investigators found that the protocol used on Mohammed al-Kahtani did not cross the threshold into inhumane treatment or torture. In at least one other instance, one of the incidents occurred after an interrogator was spit on by a detainee (the interrogator proceeded to smear red ink on the detainee). In the three cases where the lines were crossed (out of numerous allegations), corrective action was taken. In one case, where a threat was communicated, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the matter was referred for discipline. In the case of al-Kahtani, the special interrogation plan used extracted valuable intelligence after he resisted the normal interrogation practices. What is also worth noting is that al Qaeda manuals instruct members to falsely claim torture if they are captured.

Some techniques have been used to get information out of terrorists. Among them have been using variations in temperature (the room will be very hot or very cold), or playing a lot of music that they do not care for (the Barney theme has been very useful in this respect). It seems that human rights groups get the notion that listening to Britney Spears and Metallica is torture, but doesn't seem to object to terrorists beheading people.

The other issue the media ignores is what the detainees have been doing, and what has happened when some have been released. At least a dozen people, who have been released from Guantanamo Bay, are known to have returned to fighting against Coalition forces. Another person, Rasul Kudayev, was released in Russia, then planned a terrorist attack in the Kabardino-Balkariya region in the Northern Caucasus that killed 45 people. Another detainee (from Iraq) was part of a planned chemical mortar attack on the American and British embassies in Pakistan, and traveled to Pakistan with an Iraqi intelligence agent for purposes of carrying out that attack. Another detainee killed an U.S. Army medic.

None of this gets mentioned by the mainstream media. The media has also ignored the attacks on guards at Guantanamo (over 400 attacks occurred in 2006 alone), many of which involved bodily fluids. This compares to only 42 instances where there was any form of misconduct by the guards, and some of those came after provocation occurred. Despite this track record, the media and human rights groups are targeting Guantanamo Bay, once again showing more concern for terrorists than they do for innocent people or those who try to stop terrorist attacks from happening. - Harold C. Hutchison (


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