The mainstream media and international human rights organizations have relentlessly portrayed the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as a depraved torture chamber operated by sadistic American military officials defiling Islam at every turn. It's the "gulag of our time," wails Amnesty International. It's the "anti-Statue of Liberty," bemoans New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.
Have there been abuses? Yes. But here is the rest of the story -- the story that the Islamists and their sympathizers don't want you to hear.
According to recently released FBI documents, which are inaccurately heralded by civil liberties activists and military-bashers as irrefutable evidence of widespread "atrocities" at Gitmo:
A significant number of detainees' complaints were either exaggerated or fabricated (no surprise given al Qaeda's explicit instructions to trainees to lie). One detainee who claimed to have been "beaten, spit upon and treated worse than a dog" could not provide a single detail pertaining to mistreatment by U.S. military personnel. Another detainee claimed that guards were physically abusive, but admitted he hadn't seen it.
Another detainee disputed one of the now-globally infamous claims that American guards had mistreated the Koran. The detainee said that riots resulted from claims that a guard dropped the Koran. In actuality, the detainee said, a detainee dropped the Koran then blamed a guard. Other detainees who complained about abuse of the Koran admitted they had never personally witnessed any such abuse, but one said he had heard that non-Muslim soldiers touched the Koran when searching it for contraband.
In one case, Gitmo interrogators apologized to a detainee for interviewing him prior to the end of Ramadan.
Several detainees indicated they had not experienced any mistreatment. Others complained about lack of privacy, lack of bed sheets, being unwillingly photographed, the guards' use of profanity, and bad food.
If this is unacceptable, "gulag"-style "torture," then every inmate in America is a victim of human rights violations. (Oh, never mind, there are civil liberties chicken littles who actually believe that.)
Erik Saar, who served as an army sergeant at Gitmo for six months and co-authored a negative, tell-all book about his experience titled "Inside the Wire," inadvertently provides us more firsthand details showing just how restrained, and sensitive to Islam -- to a fault, I believe -- the officials at the detention facility have been.
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