Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another case of Jack Murtha Syndrome

At Pajamas Media today Raleigh-based blogger Bob Owens (Confederate Yankee) asks: "Why didn't the press ask Physicians for Human Rights about how weak most of their evidence of torture by Americans turned out to be?"

Bob begins - - -

Despite claims uncritically repeated in some media outlets, medical examinations of 11 former detainees of U.S. military prison facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba advanced by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) do not provide open-and-shut examples of prisoner abuse.

Instead PHR offers up one-sided accounts based largely upon allegations made by former detainees to an organization with a predefined political agenda and financed in part by Bush Administration opponent and convicted felon George Soros and his group, the Open Society Institute.

Of the eleven former detainees interviewed by Physicians for Human Rights, eight had been captured and abused or wounded in combat prior to be taken into U.S. custody, making it difficult to determine if injuries uncovered during physical examinations were the result of preexisting conditions or whether they were sustained after being transferred to American custody. Two of these eight detainees were picked up and interrogated by local forces sometime after being released from U.S custody but prior to their examinations, also leading to the possibility of post-custodial abuse before PHR’s physical and psychological reviews. …

Owens examines the cases histories of the 11 former detainees. Here’s what he reports concerning “Rasheed”

Captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, he was incarcerated in Bagham, Kandahar, and Guantanamo Bay before his fall 2006 release. A convert to Islam, he was previously arrested on terrorism charges in his home country, and was beaten. He was allowed to leave prison only on the condition that he would be expelled from his home country.

He claims to have been a refugee for months before the nation in which he lived dumped him in Afghanistan. He claims he was captured by bandits, and sold to the Northern Alliance as a prisoner. He says he was beaten and had a medical procedure without his consent (later determined to be a hernia repair by Guantanamo Bay staff).

After being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, he claimed that he faked psychological symptoms to avoid continued abuse, but the effort only led to him being heavily medicated. He claims he was still beaten on more than 300 occasions at Guantanamo Bay.

Unique among the subjects, “Rasheed” provided Physicians for Human Rights with a copy of his 1,200 page Guantanamo Bay medical file that indicated his heavy prior use of alcohol and drugs and a family history of psychiatric issues.

Examination of his musculoskeletal system as reported by PHR did not show extensive lingering injuries a layperson might expect in a survivor of 300 beatings.
”Rasheed” and the other former detainees’ case histories would leave any reasonable person asking Owens asks: “Why didn't the press ask Physicians for Human Rights about how weak most of their evidence of torture by Americans turned out to be?”

The answer may be that most of the MSM press suffer from Jack Murtha Syndrome, whose chief symptom is a chronic willingness to believe the worst about America’s efforts in the War on Terror.

Bob's entire Pahamas Media post is here.

Hat tip:


Anonymous said...

John -

As you know, much of the MSM suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Any accusation of the President, whether supported by evidence or not, is enough for them to write a story bashing the President. And when it turns out to be untrue, they run a retraction that can be found nowhere.

Jack in Silver Sring