I just got back from a women's bicycle ride for peace through Lebanon, Syria
and Jordan.  The news about the brutalities at Abu Ghraib prison hit the US
news while I was in Jordan.  The slow reaction of the American media
illustrates the the disconnect between the Arabic and American press:  Al
Jazeera had published accounts of abuses shortly after the ICRC report came
out last fall.  It was common knowledge to those with whom I spoke in those
three countries that these atrocities had been on-going.

Two weeks ago I visited a former prison camp in southern Lebanon, Al Khaim,
from which the Israelis withdrew in 2000.  While touring the camp, its
torture chambers and the 4'X5' cells with metal walls, a guide told me that
closing the camp did not stop the atrocities:  these continue in prisons in
Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan.  He went on to say that US forces had been
trained by Israeli intelligence in ways to extract information.

This is common knowledge on the street in the Middle East.  The Arabic
vehicles for reporting such news has been denounced by the US, and some
Arabic news services, Al Jazeera in particular, have been US military
targets in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  The responsibility for the tortures
and the subsequent cover-up lies in the highest reaches of US government.
Why stop at Rumsfeld?

Octavia V. Taylor

Program Manager
Community-Based Hazard Management
The George Perkins Marsh Institute
Clark University
950 Main St.
Worcester, MA 01610

Tel:  508-751-4615
Fax: 508-751-4600
e-mail:  [log in to unmask]

"The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism,
whether governmental or popular."
         Mahatma Gandhi