In a black room with no curtains

“In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball.” Well, at least they were having fun.

The above quote is from an article in the New York Times which ran on March 19. The article talks about a secret camp in Iraq, Camp Nama. At Camp Nama, the room described above was labeled the Black Room.

Inside the Black Room, a special military unit known as Task Force 6-26, conducted their mission to extract information from captives to find Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq – using the methods also mentioned above.

And in reading all of this you’re probably numb, thinking “Oh, just this again. Two years ago almost the same thing happened.”

And thinking about it, no one can blame you for that. Iraq has become such a mess, like a carpet so war-torn by a 3-year-old with a slippery grip, that another glass of grape juice spilled is barely noticed.

In fact, Camp Nama was a way station for prisoners on their way to Abu Ghraib. An appetizer in anticipation of the main course.

There’s little hope of even finding out exactly who the perpetrators of the torture were. One case involving the son of one of Saddam Hussein’s bodyguards, who was “kicked in the stomach until he vomited” and “forced to strip” and was punched in the spine until he fainted, was dropped.

The reason? Army investigators said task force members used battlefield pseudonyms that made it impossible to identify any of the soldiers involved.

So, we just give up. And this is swept under the rug like every other dirty little thing we’ve done.

Never mind that the entire administration has been saying that Abu Ghraib was the result of a few rogue soldiers going against policy. Task Force 6-26 proves that the torture was not resigned to a single incident and torture was moving dangerously close to becoming policy.

With this new and now second case of abuse of prisoners in Iraq and the country quickly spiraling into (or already ravaged by) civil war, its no wonder that the president and his advisors are continually being questioned as to the direction of the war.

Like always, they put on their smiles and tell the public that everything is going as planned, we shouldn’t pay attention to the people on the ground who are saying the streets of Baghdad resemble Hell on a good day.

We also have Donald Rumsfeld, who continues to say that success in Iraq can not be measure in daily headlines and blogs, but will be measured in the future, when we’ve had time to reflect and write it into the history books.

I guess if we’re the ones writing the histories, the war will end up exactly how we want it to.

And even if everything ends up going to hell, at least they can’t accuse us of never giving them anything. Paintball is a pretty sweet game.

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