Doubly-depressing

McClatchy continued its terrific series on Guantanamo today with a story about how the prison has taken ordinary Middle-Eastern thugs and turned them into radical Islamists bent on harming the United States.  Well done Bush administration!  The details:

A McClatchy investigation found that instead of confining
terrorists, Guantanamo often produced more of them by rounding up
common criminals, conscripts, low-level foot soldiers and men with no
allegiance to radical Islam ? thus inspiring a deep hatred of the
United States in them ? and then housing them in cells next to radical
Islamists.

The radicals were quick to exploit the flaws in the U.S. detention system.

Soldiers,
guards or interrogators at the U.S. bases at Bagram or Kandahar in
Afghanistan had abused many of the detainees, and they arrived at
Guantanamo enraged at America.

The Taliban and al Qaida leaders
in the cells around them were ready to preach their firebrand
interpretation of Islam and the need to wage jihad, Islamic holy war,
against the West. Guantanamo became a school for jihad, complete with a
council of elders who issued fatwas, binding religious instructions, to
the other detainees.

Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, until recently the
commanding officer at Guantanamo, acknowledged that senior militant
leaders gained influence and control in his prison.

File under, “not at all surprising” the fact that:

Pakistani police intelligence concluded that the men ? the majority of
whom had been subjected to “severe mental and physical torture,”
according to the report ? had “extreme feelings of resentment and
hatred against USA.”…

“A lot of our friends are working against the Americans now, because if
you torture someone without any reason, what do you expect?” Issa Khan,
a Pakistani former detainee, said in an interview in Islamabad. “Many
people who were in Guantanamo are now working with the Taliban.”

Anyway, once again, some truly outstanding reporting from not the New York Times or Washington Post, but sadly the latest news is that McClatchy is cutting 1400 jobs (10% of its workforce).  For the record, McClatchy recently combined with Knight-Ridder, about the only national news organization that got things right about the Iraq war.  Sadly, we can probably expect less of this great reporting in the future.  And the reason for this– the internet.  With everybody placing their ads in Craig's List, Cars.com, etc., newspaper revenues are way down.  So, I guess that means: saving money using on-line sources = decline in journalism.  Bummer.

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