July 2, 2004 14:06 | Political

Gulag in America

From What is The Message? (McLuhan Program at UofT Weblog)

The Reversal of America. In a democratic country that values the rule of law, that has a constitution with enshrined "God-given" rights to due process of law and public trials, an innocent man, wrongly incarcerated and abused, should not fear what the government would do to him if called to testify in a court of law. So-called war or no war, this is a shameful situation.

Discussing this story of one Purna Raj Bajracharya, an innocent tourist locked up and fundamentally mistreated.

Am I indulging in hyperbole when I describe Mr. Bajracharya's ordeal worthy of comparison to the Soviet-style gulag? Judge for yourself:

He had spent almost three months in a 6-by-9-foot cell kept lighted 24 hours a day. The unit of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was kept has become notorious for the abuses documented there by the Justice Department's own inspector general, who found a pattern of physical and mental mistreatment of post-9/11 detainees. Videotapes showed officers slamming detainees into walls, mocking them during unnecessary strip-searches, and secretly taping their conversations with lawyers.

Every day, worse.