Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How common is US abuse of detainees? |

This Christian Science Monitor story reflects the US government's efforts to minimize the prison abuse scandals. Without any analysis the story accepts the notion that only one percent of detainees have been abused. Not only does this figure ignore the possibility of unreported cases, but it presumes that all detainees are equally subject to abuse. In fact, many of the 70,000 acknowledged detainess are people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or people who were deemed suspicious for spurious reasons. Thus, by inflating the pool of detainees potentially subject to abuse, the Pentagon seeks to minimize the actual incidence of torture and distreatment. The Monitor should not have blindly accepted the numbers.

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