Friday, May 27, 2005

"The gulag of our time"

The Washington Post leads off with a sensational headline, "Pentagon Confirms Koran Incidents," which appears to me to imply that Newsweek's blurb that started the riots in Afghanistan and Pakistan was true. Of course, that's not what the article actually says--"[Pentagon spokesman Lawrence T. Di Rita] said most of the 13 cases involved accidental or inadvertent touching of the Koran by guards and interrogators -- such as someone bumping into the holy book, or one case in which an interrogator stacked two Korans on a television set."

But, predictably, Amnesty International still can't get off its high horse about American military prisons, while, at the same time, diminishing the importance of real "human rights abuses." Does anyone really believe that the prisoner abuse at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib is actually equivalent to the gulags of the Soviets? The North Koreans? Saddam Hussein? Think about it: mistreatment of prisoners by individuals (even sadistic, perverted ones like Mr. Graner) cannot be the same as government-sponsored abuse and torture of dissidents. Perspective, please.