Fighting terrorism with sex? [Archives:2005/816/Opinion]

February 14 2005

One is not sure how the Pentagon finds it plausible that it can win the hearts and minds of its captured prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and the other prisons where hundreds of prisoners are being held indefinitely it seems through the adoption of “sensual coercion” as part of their interrogation methods. One is also dumbstruck by the profanity of some of the tactics used to “get the prisoners to talk”, not to mention the disgusting nadir methods of humiliation and intimidation such as simulating drenching the prisoners with “menstrual” blood. Whatever one may say about terrorists of the Al-Qaida genre, but the revelation by the Washington Post on Thursday February 10, 2005, of the sexual tactics used by the Pentagon to intimidate Guantanamo prisoners through the use of provocative or gross sexual methods of “interrogation” was, at the least, an insult to all decent human beings as well as the Moslems of the world. According to its own inquiry findings, the Pentagon has conceded the use of such tactics to try to “humiliate and pry information from devout Moslem men held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba”, said the Post article. The inquiry did not confirm that such tactics are sanctioned by the Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld in his “dos and don'ts” guidelines on prisoner torture.

Certainly the War on Terror has produced a cavalcade of highly questionable behavior on the part of the American forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq (the latter, only thanks to the War on Terror, only recently became a messy terrorist playground). But it is truly unacceptable that human dignity and moral convictions should be subject to disgusting insult to, by no other than the superpower that claims to represent the hopes and aspirations of all “freedom loving people of the world”.

Mind you, the insulting nature of such open use of sexual intimidation and provocation is not only insulting to the victims, but one would think degrading to the soldiers and “interrogators” themselves, although they do not show that much reluctance in undertaking these horrific tactics. How could they allow themselves to be used as tools of sexual provocation or disgusting tactics, as if their flesh has been declared US Government property, which can be used in any way deemed “useful” for advancing the cause it has set out to unilaterally bear its banner? Without its own moral code, there is no way that the War on Terror could be convincingly bought by most decent and civilized people of the world and certainly Moslems throughout the world have a right to be furious that the American Government should insult their moral convictions, even if they are the staunchest of opponents to the extreme rendition that terrorists have projected Islam in.

Yet there it is laid out by actual prisoners who have had to face such brazen tactics, while they have yet to be found in any way associated with terrorist acts, as they told their lawyers candidly about the kind of intimidation they were subjected to as American women displayed their sexual talents or carried out filthy displays of degradation. That American sexual mores have become fluid by a sexploitation culture that is prevalent throughout the United States is obvious in much of the artistry that comes out of the United States, but to use that fluidity against devout worshippers of God, certainly indicates the weak moral backbone of the American sole expedition against terror. It is more likely to give strength to further animosity against the United States, because there is absolutely no justification for the humiliation of any person through insulting their religious convictions.

The alibi for the Pentagon is rather weak as the article states: ” eport found that interrogators used sexually oriented tactics and harassment to shock or offend Muslim prisoners, the senior Pentagon official said. The official said that the military would not condone “sexual activity” during interrogation, but that good interrogators “take initiative and are a little creative.”

For sure the United States Department of Defense will treat this as it did the Abu Ghreib torture scandal revealed mid last year and maybe one or two low level interrogators will be reprimanded here and there. However, unless the United States Government implicitly apologizes to all Moslems for this derogatory insult to their religious mores and values, and ceases such tactics, it would be foolish to believe that the US War on Terror can make any advances among Moslem constituencies everywhere in the world. The underestimation of Moslem feelings about such behavior is another indication of the apparently ingrained contempt for Moslem religious values that the Pentagon and other US agencies have shown all along this ugly war that is neither making the world any safer from terror nor displaying the existence of any genuine moral convictions on the part of the US. Just because the US has become so fluid in moral convictions should not mean that it has a right to view those with strong moral convictions with utter contempt.

It is unbelievable that as time goes on the United States becomes more and more portrayed as a promoter of so much evil under supposedly declared high values and one is rather surprised that the many people who have written emails to insist that mainstream Americans see genuine cause in their government's pursuits would not find it appropriate to see the genuine pathetic displays of moral degradation by the vanguards of this genuine cause.

This kind of behavior can only come from the one experienced source of such tactics as many a Palestinian prisoner of Israel will be ready to report if they had the chance to.