Taxi to the Dark Side

[Preface:  Given the subject matter below and the “official” position of the Republican Party on this issue, you may think I’m a Hillary/Obama supporter or that I’m a pacifist or democrat.  Please note that I am a registered Republican, voted for G.W. Bush in one election, voted for the Constitution Party candidate in another election, and I’ve voted for exectly one democrat in my life – he was a Plaintiff-friendly judge and he refused to take any campaign contributions from anyone.  My current favorite politician is Republican Congressman Ron Paul.  Agree or disagree with him, one cannot say that he is influenced by lobbyists or changes positions for political convenience.].  That said. . .

It is written:

“If your hater [enemy] is in need of food, give him bread; and if he is in need of drink, give him water: For so you will put coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will give you your reward.”  Proverbs 25:21-22 Bible in Basic English

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.   Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:17-21 KJV

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”  Matthew 5:43-45 KJV

Might the above verses relate to the “war on terror” and Muslim “extremists”?  How so?

Last night Jessamy and I watched a movie called “Taxi to the Dark Side“.  It was produced by the BBC in the U.K. and is a documentary about extraordinary rendition and treatment of prisoners held by U.S. troops during the “war on a terror”.  It is rated “R” for violence, nude prisoners, etc. . .  It is very graphic and not suitable for children.

Rendition is the apprehension (see kidnapping) and extrajudicial (outside the bounds of law, due process and evidence) transfer of a person from one government to another.  In other words, the United States may discover a “person of interest” (i.e. suspected terrorist) entering the country, take the guy into custody by surprise, send him to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, hold him for years without attorney, without hearing, without notifying his family and then take him to Morocco so the Moroccan’s can torture him (with CIA supervision) in an attempt to get information.  Maybe he lives, maybe he dies.

I’m not kidding – this really happens.  If you want a better feel for extraordinary rendition, watch the recent very well done movie, “Rendition”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.

Anyway, “Taxi to the Dark Side” is one of only three movies with a 100% positive review rating over at Rotten Tomatoes -and there are 44 professional reviews:

The trailer is here:

I knew much of the information contained in the video from my various research projects, so it wasn’t particularly shocking to me, but it probably would be shocking to many Americans.  From my research, most of the rest of the world is well aware of the information in this movie – and that information has damaged U.S. credibility throughout the world.

The movie focuses on one particular case – “Dilawar” – who was an Afghani taxi driver taken into custody by Afghan forces, turned over to our troops and taken to Bagram prison.  Dilawar was dead 5 days later (he had been beated so much that his legs were “pulpified”, according to the autopsy), even though he had committed no crime and there was no evidence against him.  The official cause of death from the military pathologist which was given to Dilawar’s family actually stated “homicide“.

Did you know that as of a year ago:

1:  the U.S has held more than 87,000 prisoners in the “war on terror”;

2:  Only 7% of those detained at Guantanamo were captured by US personnel while over 90% were taken by Iraqis and Afghans and turned over to the United States – in most cases in exchange for large cash rewards. It is estimated that only a small percentage of the incarcerated are actually members of a terrorist group.  But, as one of the innocents, British citizen Moazzam Begg, quotes: “If you weren’t a terrorist when you came here [Guantanamo Bay] you sure would be when you leave.”  (If I recall, Mr. Begg was held for three years with no evidence and no hearing.).

3:  37 deaths classified by the military as “homicide” by U.S. troops have occurred in U.S. detention camps. 

4:  President Bush’s attorneys wrote memos and made statements which essentially stated that the President can do whatever he wants – including torture – in the war on terror.  Department of Justice Attorney John Yoo stated that there were circumstances in which it would be appropriate to crush a child’s genitals in front of his parents in order to pressure the parents into confessing.

Most interesting to me were the eyewitness testimonies from the men who actually killed Dilawar.  These men were “normal” men who, in the interviews, did not seem capable of murder.  The men were prosecuted, dishonorably discharged and did prison time.  HOWEVER, their superiors who gave the orders were generally not prosecuted and were in some cases promoted.

At the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis after World War II, the LEADERS were tried, convicted and imprisoned or executed by hanging – even though some of them had not actually participated in the killing of innocent people.  Some of the crimes Nazi leaders were executed for included:

Inciting hatred and murder against the Jews through his weekly newspaper. (No actual killing there).

Ambassador-Plenipotentiary 1935-1936. Ambassador to the United Kingdom 1936-1938. Nazi Minister of Foreign Affairs 1938-1945 (Ambassadors and Ministers don’t usually get their hands dirty with guns and killing.)

Nazi Party Secretary (Again, unlikely that this guy actually killed anyone).

In those cases, the leaders were held accountable (of course, the U.S. was running the show there). 

There is substantial evidence in the video, government documents, etc. . . that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo and others were directly involved in the creation of policies and implementation of the policies which led to the abuses and 37 homicides in U.S. detention camps.  Under the principles applied at the Nuremberg Trials, Cheney and the rest should be put on trial.  Instead, our government has focused on prosecuting Specialists and Sergeants and giving them as little as 4 months of prison time.

Then again, perhaps leaders shouldn’t be held responsible for creating, implementing and encouraging low ranking soldiers to abuse, torture and kill people.  What do you think?

Again, it is written, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. . . do good to them that hate you.”

For now we see through a glass darkly . . .”  I Corinthians 13:12

We, as human beings, do not have all of the information in any situation.  Only GOD is ALL KNOWING and only HE knows the thoughts and intents of a man’s heart.

Also note that GOD’S LAW in the Old Testament required a MINIMUM of two eyewitnesses before conviction of any crime.  This is because of the inherent unreliability of eyewitness testimony.

One witness may not make a statement against a man in relation to any sin or wrongdoing which he has done: on the word of two or three witnesses a question is to be judged.”  Deut. 19:15 Bible in Basic English

One witness is never enough to convict someone of a crime, offense, or sin he may have committed. Cases must be settled based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”  Deut. 19:15 God’s Word Translation

“The studies reveal error rates of as high as fifty percent [in eyewitness testimony] — a frightening statistic given that many convictions may be based largely or solely on such testimony.”

“In 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report entitled “Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science.” The report contains case studies of 28 individuals who were released from prison after being convicted of sexual assaults and murders which post-conviction DNA testing proved they could not have committed. In other words, they were factually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. 

These 28 people served a total of 197 years in prison before being released. How could this happen in America? In examining these cases for an explanation, the Department of Justice found that in 24 out of the 28 cases, eyewitnesses at trial–mostly victims–identified these individuals. But in all 24 cases the eyewitnesses were clearly wrong. Why? 

Studies have shown that eyewitness identification is wrong almost 50% of the time. This is not because the witnesses are lying or being deceptive. Rather, more often than not, they are simply mistaken.”

Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 1:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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