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February 7, 2004
America's "Victim" Enjoyed Guantanamo

The Telegraph will disappoint many America-haters in the UK and around the world tomorrow by publishing the account of a teenager who spent 14 months at the controversial detention center in Guantanamo, where critics accuse the US of cruel treatment of its inmates:

An Afghan boy whose 14-month detention by US authorities as a terrorist suspect in Cuba prompted an outcry from human rights campaigners said yesterday that he enjoyed his time in the camp. Mohammed Ismail Agha, 15, who until last week was held at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, said that he was treated very well and particularly enjoyed learning to speak English.

Oh, the horror! But if your fragile psyche can handle it, Agha details the tortures he survived at Camp Delta:

"At first I was unhappy . . . For two or three days [after I arrived in Cuba] I was confused but later the Americans were so nice to me. They gave me good food with fruit and water for ablutions and prayer." ... He said that the American soldiers taught him and his fellow child captives - aged 15 and 13 - to write and speak a little English. They supplied them with books in their native Pashto language. When the three boys left last week for Afghanistan, the soldiers looking after them gave them a send-off dinner and urged them to continue their studies.

"They even took photographs of us all together before we left," he said. Mohammed, however, said he would have to disappoint his captors by not returning to his studies. "I am too poor for that. I will have to look for work," he said.

Photographs! Aha! A Geneva Convention violation! And what about teaching Agha English -- is that typical American imperialism, or what? Teaching him to read and encouraging him to continue his education has to be cruel, raising his hopes and making him believe that his life has value and his future could hold almost unlimited opportunity to be free and happy. How dare we interfere with his normal development into a starving lackey for warlords and Islamofascist terrorists. Perhaps the wise people from International ANSWER will convince us yet that our soldiers are brutish thugs and Guantanamo differs little from medieval dungeons; I'm sure they'll want to spread Agha's story as crucial evidence of their charges.

I'll just sit here and hold my breath ...

UPDATE: The Minnesota Star-Tribune carried this story. Their headline? "Released from Guantanamo, boy says he was falsely accused". Well, that's certainly a shocker -- detainees so rarely claim that they are falsely accused. It isn't until the penultimate paragraph that the AP story mentions anything about Agha's complimentary description of his life at Camp Delta. Typical.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 7, 2004 9:45 PM

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Captain Ed points out a story about a ex-Guantanamo detainee....who seems pretty satisfied with his treatment. An Afghan boy whose 14-month detention by US authorities as a terrorist suspect in Cuba prompted an outcry from human rights campaigners said... [Read More]

Tracked on February 8, 2004 6:17 PM

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