A tortured confession

I found this confession story interesting in light of all the talk about what is and is not torture and how legitimate it as an information gathering method.  Take a look and see if you’re persuaded:

Mitchell, 44, said yesterday that he was tortured into confessing crimes that he did not commit. He was arrested in 2000 after Christopher Rodway, a British engineer, had been killed in the first attack and his wife injured.

Mitchell said he was made to stand for nine days with his hands chained above his head and prevented from sleeping.

He added that each night he was tethered hand and foot and suspended with a metal bar behind his legs to expose his buttocks and the soles of his feet. He also claimed he was beaten with an axe handle until he gave the answers his jailers were looking for.

He said: “It went on and on. I used to consider myself a strong person but everybody has their breaking point. I was alone and in pain and if it wasn’t me being beaten it was others and I could hear their screams.”

He eventually confessed to being part of a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. “It was a ridiculous story, but that was what they wanted,” he said.

Now finish the story and say whether you still agree that you have to do what you have to do to get information on terrorist activity, even it means torture.

Mitchell said: “The turf war did not exist. That was made up by the Saudi secret police to justify their own existence.”

He was locked away in solitary confinement for almost a year before he saw a lawyer.

When he eventually was given access to a legal representative he discovered he had already been sentenced to death without a trial. No evidence other than his confession was ever brought forward.

If we condemn such acts of barbarity, as we should, let’s not stop at the Saudi gate!

The bastardization of Islam

This latest news story is an excellent example of how religion is used by a ruling class to oppress people.  It has all the elements of brutality, nationalism and ignorance that have characterized all religions but in this millieu, especially Islam.

The brutality of giving a 75 year old woman 40 lashes is apparent and obvious; that she is not Saudi and neither are at least one of the two men accused with her is troubling.  Perhaps the Kingdom is signifying to its Syrian neighbors, through this Syrian national, that attempts at peace with Israel are counterproductive?  But the ignorance, so profound so steeped in irrational behavior is the most troubling aspect.  One of the young men, and we’re talking about men 24 years old, is considered by Islamic law her son, because she breastfed him while he was an infant, which means she can legally be alone with him; the fact that the “court” didn’t allow this information because they claim it was unsubstantiated while at the same time allowing the hearsay allegation of the father of the same young man that the defendant was corrupting his son is incredulous!

I hope there is more to this story; I hope that her case is settled immediately and Mrs. Sawadi is spared the humiliation of Saudi ignorance.  It is truly from the “where do they find these people?” files.