Clicking on banner ads keeps JWR alive
Jewish World Review Jan. 25, 2002 / 12 Shevat, 5762

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Camp X-ray or Club Med? -- AFTER SPENDING months in frigid Afghanistan caves subsisting on Allah knows what, the 158 detainees the United States is holding in tropical Guantanamo Bay must think they've died and gone to heaven.

Well, heaven without the 72 virgins.

The detainees should look at the balmy Camp X-ray -- replete with running water, three square meals a day and modern medical care -- as a sort of Taliban version of Club Med. Call it Club Gitmo.

Yet, some Americans and Brits have been hollering about the U.S. treatment of these tough guys. British newspaper headlines have screamed about U.S. "Torture!" and "Monstrous Inhumanity," while stories say prisoners are treated "like wild beasts" in "cages." Amnesty International issued a press release accusing the United States of "keeping prisoners incommunicado, (using) sensory deprivation, the use of unnecessary restraint and the humiliation of people through tactics such as shaving them" in an effort to 'break' the spirit of individuals ahead of interrogation."

It should be noted that much of the uproar is over photographs of the detainees taken as they were being transported from airplanes to their cells. The military wisely shackles prisoners during transport: That's when it's easiest for violent people to hurt others.

Also, a British Foreign Ministry team, which spent three days at Club Gitmo, reported that three British citizens being held there had "no complaints about their treatment."

As the Washington Post reported, Foreign Office Parliamentary Secretary Ben Bradshaw also explained that there were "no gags, no goggles, no earmuffs and no shackles while (the prisoners) are in their cells."

Still, some people just have to bash the United States. And they apparently don't care if the criticism makes them look clueless as to what really is inhumane. Take the sensory deprivation charge. Does Amnesty International think that wearing a hood on an airplane is sensory deprivation, instead of a security measure? Isn't the Taliban code all about sensory deprivation?

As for the "unnecessary restraint," one detainee has announced that he wants to kill an American before he leaves Cuba, and another detainee bit a guard, according to Pentagon spokesman Capt. Riccoh Player. So make that "necessary restraint."

I was embarrassed by some of the press corps' comments during Tuesday's Pentagon briefing. Talk about clueless. First, there's the reporter who likened living in the tropics without air conditioning to "torture."

Then there's the reporter who asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if American Taliban John Walker will be treated the same as the detainees. "Will he be put in an 8-by-8-foot cell that has no walls but only a roof?" was the follow-up question.

I'd guess that's one journalist who's never been to a prison.

"In an 8-by-8-foot space, (on some ships) we would cram half a dozen sailors," was one U.S. official's reaction.

Then there's the status of the detainees. Some Brits and Amnesty International want them to be officially classified as POWs. The detainee status however, gives the U.S. military the leeway to interrogate these former operatives about any future terrorist attacks.

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius rightly noted of the Club Gitmo guests that, "for the most part, they're members of al Qaeda and if they were free, they'd engage in murder once again."

You could understand the outrage if the U.S. military were torturing or otherwise mistreating the detainees. Instead, Amnesty International and the comrades are outraged that the military is treating al Qaeda captives like prisoners. Oh, the horror.

You get the feeling that if Rummy booked these tough guys into a Motel 6, they'd complain that there's no room service.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.


01/23/02: Let's stop the deluge of porn e-mail
01/21/02: No 'Little Boy Lost'
01/16/02: Son of Supercar
01/12/02: Beware the European view of the death penalty
01/09/02: Other people's children
01/07/02: It doesn't fly
01/03/02: Going from the Atlantic City Boardwalk to Berkeley
12/31/01: In America, punishment should fit the crime
12/28/01: What I'd like to see in 2002
12/24/01: Don't heckle ink monopolists
12/21/01: Mumia finds safety in numbers
12/19/01 The self-help PBS shopping network
12/17/01 Caught on tape
12/14/01 Know when to hold 'em
12/10/01 Old friends
12/06/01 I read the news today, oh boy
12/03/01 It's not cricket
11/28/01 Admissions and omissions
11/26/01 Guns and abayas
11/21/01 Depraved minds think alike
11/19/01 Guilty, a la carte
11/14/01 Interpreting the entrails of Election 2000
11/12/01 Life and liberty
11/09/01 Safety is as safety does
11/07/01 More hot air on global warming
11/05/01 Bumped Pakistani's molehill
11/01/01 Freedom snuffed out
10/29/01 Give war a chance
10/26/01 Airline bill needs liftoff
10/22/01 The Riordan Principle
10/19/01 Before America gets tired of the war on terrorism
10/17/01 Patriot games
10/15/01 I was a 'McCainiac,' and I have seen the light
10/12/01 University of Censorship's fall semester
10/11/01 Poor little rich boy, Osama
10/07/01 Don't feed Israel to the beast
10/05/01: bin Laden is not our Frankenstein monster
10/04/01: Where no man has gone before
09/26/01: Who's bloodthirsty?
09/26/01: What's to understand?
09/20/01: Barbara Lee's line in the sand
09/14/01: You gotta love this country
09/13/01: ENTER TERROR
09/11/01: You can't clone ethics
09/06/01: NOW's goal: equal rights for women without equal responsibility
08/30/01: What's love got to do with it?
08/24/01: A clean, well-lighted place for junkies
08/20/01: Bush should stand up for justice
08/08/01: Don't give Peace (Dept). a chance
08/03/01: Lose a kid, pass a law
08/01/01: Welcome to France, killers
07/30/01: Why it's easy being green (in Europe)
07/26/01: If disabled means expendable
07/23/01: Condit should not resign
07/18/01: Feinstein should learn her limit
07/16/01: A drought of common sense
07/13/01: The catalog has no clothes
07/05/01: It's Bush against the planet
07/03/01: The man who would be guv
06/29/01: Wheeled, wired and free
06/27/01: O, fearful new world
06/25/01: End HMO horrors
06/21/01: Either they're dishonest or clueless
06/18/01: Freedom is a puff of smoke
06/15/01: In praise of going heavy: Yes, you can take it all
06/13/01: McVeigh: 'Unbowed' maybe, but dead for sure
06/11/01: Gumby strikes back
06/08/01: Los Angeles' last white mayor?
06/07/01: Kids will be kids, media will be media
06/04/01: Draw a line in the sand
05/30/01: Just don't call him a moderate
05/29/01: Operation: Beat up on civil rights
05/24/01: Of puppies, kittens and huge credit-card debts
05/22/01: Bush needs an energy tinkerbell
05/18/01: Divided we stand, united they fall
05/16/01: Big Bench backs might over right
05/15/01: Close SUV loophole
05/11/01: Kill the test, welcome failure
05/09/01: DA mayor's disappointing legacy
05/07/01: If it ain't broken ...
05/03/01: They shoot civilians, don't they?
04/30/01: Executions are not for prime time
04/12/01: White House and the green myth
04/10/01: The perjurer as celeb
04/04/01: Bush bashers don't know squat
04/02/01: Drugging our oldsters
03/30/01: Robert Lee Massie exercises his death wish
03/28/01: Cheney's nuclear reactor
03/26/01: Where California and Mexico meet
03/16/01: Boy's sentence was no accident
03/14/01: Soft money, hard reform
03/12/01: Banks, big credit lines and consumer bankruptcy
03/09/01: Free speech dies in Berkeley
03/02/01: When rats have rights
02/28/01: Move a frog, go to jail?
02/26/01: They knew they'd get away with it
02/20/01: How Dems define tax fairness
02/16/01: The jackpot casino Carmel tribe?
02/14/01: You can fight school success
02/12/01: Hannibal -- with guts this time
02/08/01: A family of jailbirds
02/05/01: Reality's most demeaning TV moments
02/01/01: Justice for the non-Rich
01/26/01: Hail to the chiefs of D.C. opinion
01/24/01: A day of mud and monuments
01/22/01: Diversity, division, de-lovely D.C.
01/19/01: Parties agree: Give back the money
01/17/01: Get tough with the oil companies, or forget pumping more Alaskan crude
01/15/01: Mineta better pray that no attending confirmation senator has ever driven to San Jose during rush hour
01/12/01: Europeans should look in the mirror
01/10/01: Dems' reasons for dissin' Dubya's picks
01/08/01: Jerry, curb your guru
01/03/01: A foe of Hitler and friend of Keating
12/28/00: Nice people think nice thoughts
12/26/00: The Clinton years: Epilogue
12/21/00: 'Tis the season to free nonviolent drug offenders 12/18/00: A golden opportunity is squandered
12/15/00: You can take the 24 years, good son
12/13/00: Court of law vs. court of public opinion
12/08/00: A salvo in the war on the war on drugs
12/06/00: Don't cry, Butterfly: Big trees make great decks
12/04/00: Florida: Don't do as Romans did
11/30/00: Special City's hotel parking ticket
11/27/00: No means yes, yes means more than yes
11/22/00: The bench, the ballot and fairness
11/20/00: Mendocino, how green is your ballot?

© 2000, Creators Syndicate