I doubt this was intentional — I just pulled this screen capture off Memeorandum:

Two news items collide — at the top, a pack of righties attack Al Gore for speaking frankly to a mainly Saudi audience about mistreatment of Arabs in America after 9/11. Judging from the reaction of the righties, you’d have thought Al had announced his engagement to Osama bin Laden.

Among the headlines: “The Gorebot: attacking America from the fountainhead of jihad”; “Al of Arabia”; “Al Gore Slanders America” (that’s our gal Michelle Malkin); and “Al Gore Sells Out to the Saudis” (Captain Ed).

The news stories following: “Report: U.S. Is Abusing Captives” and “UN inquiry demands immediate closure of Guantanamo.”

I got a kick out of the accidental juxtaposition, although to be fair the juxtaposed stories are about two different incidents of abuse. Of the first (from the Associated Press)

Gore told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated at U.S. universities, that Arabs in the United States had been “indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable.”

Which is true — the bleeping U.S. Department of Justice issued a report admitting it’s true — and which I doubt was news to the audience. Righties seem to think that all “foreigners” are stupid and will not know anything about our treatment of them unless we explain it to them. But all human being appreciate not being treated like idiots. Mr. Gore’s talk probably did more to assure Arabs we can be honest and reasonable than all of Karen Hughes’s pathetic efforts combined.

(What makes this speech treasonous in rightie minds is that Al Gore delivered it to an Arab audience. These same people razz Gore for everything he says in this country, too, however. According to the Right, “Al Gore speaking” is, by definition, treasonous.)

Oh, and speaking of “the fountainhead of jihad,” the Associated Press reported Saturday (via Avedon) that

A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.

The Bush administration considers the UAE an important ally in the fight against terrorism since the suicide hijackings and is not objecting to Dubai Ports World’s purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.

And Republicans ask if we can trust Democrats to keep us safe from terrorism. Snort.

The second news story is about treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Maggie Farley of the Los Angeles Times writes,

A draft United Nations report on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay concludes that the U.S. treatment of them violates their rights to physical and mental health and, in some cases, constitutes torture.

It also urges the United States to close the military prison in Cuba and bring the captives to trial on U.S. territory, charging that Washington’s justification for the continued detention is a distortion of international law.

The report, compiled by five U.N. envoys who interviewed former prisoners, detainees’ lawyers and families, and U.S. officials, is the product of an 18-month investigation ordered by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The team did not have access to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

“We have fallen pretty far when the UN is lecturing us on our human rights violations,” says Steve Soto.

From the Telegraph:

The UN Human Rights Commission report, due to be published this week, concludes that Washington should put the 520 detainees on trial or release them.

It calls for the United States to halt all “practices amounting to torture”, including the force-feeding of inmates who go on hunger strike.

Jeanne d’Arc describes this:

Guards have begun strapping detainees into “restraint chairs” like the one pictured to the left, using riot-control soldiers to keep them still (no details on that), and forcing long plastic tubes down their nasal passages and into their stomachs. The tubes are inserted and removed so violently that prisoners bleed and pass out. Too much food is put in the tubes, which causes prisoners to defecate on themselves.

If you’re strapped into a “padded cell on wheels,” while a tube is forced down your nose, that means you’re no longer refusing meals.

This will sully America’s reputation for generations. Yet the righties are up in arms about Al Gore? Amazing.

9 thoughts on “Oops

  1. Bush has managed to dehumanize the captives in Guantanamo so any abuse is acceptable..No different than dehumanization of the Jews, gypsies, slavs,and homosexuals under the control of Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, when respect for human dignity and reason return. America will collectively bear the responsibilty for the actions of a few.
    Whether committed for the safety of America, or not..it is still a crime against humanity to handle the situation the way Bush has done.

  2. Americans had a choice, be Gored and Bored to Death or be Bushwacked. With choices like that, there are no winners.

  3. Torturing anyone for any reason is stratigically and tactically wrong, it fails the victim and the perpetraiter, but to Quote TEDDY ROSEVELDT “We did it to the Indians and nobody seemed to mind.” I personally don’t see much hope from this Congress , Judiciary, or Administration any time soon. Vote against paying for this kind of behavior. Your vote and signature count. Voter Initiative on the BUDGET AND TAXES the final say-so from you THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER. SIGNATURES COUNT.

  4. Torture, shmorture. Hey, 2 in 3 Arizonans can’t be wrong!

    …. Come on people, admit it. If anyone in America gave a shit about this, it wouldn’t be happening. It’s happening because you and your countrymen don’t care. The majority of you just don’t give a crap, and the Administration knows it, and they act accordingly.

  5. Torture is wrong. Period. I don’t understand what is controversial about it. If you are American, to the world community you are a torturer and supporter of torture. Is that ok with most Americans? It’s not with me.

    We need to get some balls in this country and prosecute those in charge with crimes against humanity, from Bush on down. There is no valid reason for them to have any immunity (just because they are American).

  6. Thanks for the link to the Justice Inspector General report. I’ve been following the threads on the wingnutty blogs and my first thought was that if Al Gore is the Saudis new best friend he had to throw a body block on the entire Bush clan to get there. Bush has his own problems with the history of showing the Saudis favoritism.

    3- Number of 11 September hijackers whose entry visas came through special US-Saudi “Visa Express” program. A program that Bush approved.

    140- Number of Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated from United States almost immediately after 11 September.

    While Cindy Sheehan was being dragged from the House gallery moments before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address for wearing a t-shirt honoring her son and the other 2,244 US soldiers killed in Iraq, Turki al-Faisal was settling into his seat inside the gallery. Faisal, a Saudi, is a man who has met Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants on at least five occasions, describing the al Qaeda leader as “quite a pleasant man.” He met multiple times with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. Yet, unlike Sheehan, al-Faisal was a welcomed guest of President Bush on Tuesday night. He is also a man that the families of more than 600 victims of the 9/11 attacks believe was connected to their loved ones’ deaths.

  7. Pingback: The Long Goodbye » Blog Archive » To not have shot his friend in the face would have sent a message to the quail that America is weak.

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