The Benevolent Obama Adminstration vs. The Evil Iranian Menace

John Glaser, January 09, 2012

As the airwaves are set ablaze about the Evil Iranian Menace sentencing to death a former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, suspected of spying for the CIA, let us remind ourselves of our own government’s trampling of individual rights.

Over the weekend, the New York Times (to their credit) published two Op-Eds by former Guantanamo detainees. Both were perfectly innocent, both exposed to torture, both were held for years without charge or trial.

Murat Kurnaz is a German national of Turkish descent and was kidnapped off of a tourist bus in Pakistan in 2001 after the U.S. promised bounties for every person either Afghan warlords or Pakistani police picked up. He was held in Kandahar, then in Guantanamo.

During their interrogations, they dunked my head under water and punched me in the stomach; they don’t call this waterboarding but it amounts to the same thing. I was sure I would drown.

At one point, I was chained to the ceiling of a building and hung by my hands for days. A doctor sometimes checked if I was O.K.; then I would be strung up again. The pain was unbearable.

Kurnaz notes in his piece the strange experience of seeing the German officials who eventually secured his release “teach the Americans a basic lesson about the rule of law” after “the Americans insisted on a trial for war criminals at Nuremberg.”

Lakhdar Boumediene, a Bosnian, was arrested on unsubstantiated charges in Sarajevo in 2001 and held without charge or trial for seven years in an American prison shrouded in secrecy, Guantanamo Bay.

Bosnia’s highest court investigated the American claim, found that there was no evidence against me and ordered my release. But instead, the moment I was released American agents seized me and the five others. We were tied up like animals and flown to Guantánamo, the American naval base in Cuba. I arrived on Jan. 20, 2002.

…I was kept awake for many days straight. I was forced to remain in painful positions for hours at a time. These are things I do not want to write about; I want only to forget…I went on a hunger strike for two years because no one would tell me why I was being imprisoned. Twice each day my captors would shove a tube up my nose, down my throat and into my stomach so they could pour food into me. It was excruciating, but I was innocent and so I kept up my protest.

And let’s not forget that the regime which has codified a system of indefinite detention without charge or trial even for its own citizens is the Benevolent Obama Administration, not the Evil Iranian Menace. And the regime that is garrisoning Iran’s surroundings with provocative militarism, heaping punitive sanctions on core economic sectors, arming enemies with nuclear weapons, engaging cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations, and proxy wars is the Benevolent Obama Administration, not the Evil Iranian Menace.

Pretty much nobody knows the truth about the Hekmati case, which was according to the defendant’s mother, “the result of a process that was neither transparent nor fair.” But at least the Iranians are letting him appeal the verdict.




11 Responses to “The Benevolent Obama Adminstration vs. The Evil Iranian Menace”

  1. What a wonderful opportunity for the world's greatest agent of change to go all 'presidential' and 'statesmanlike', ask for a meeting with the top leaders of Iran. Retrieve the errant ex-marine and make peace.

    Payback for the Nobel he got.

    They'd probably roll out a red carpet for him. And then some 'patriot' could shoot him when he gets back.

  2. It seems that the US wants the Iranian regime to vanish from the pages of time. Or should I translate that as they want Iran "wiped off the map"! hahahah

  3. The so-called West's war against Iran concerns nuclear energy. But it's worth noting that nuclear energy is enjoyed by dozens of countries worldwide. This is what sovereign states get to do. Among the countries that enjoy the natural right to develop their energy resources (including nuclear power) are the usual suspects )including the US) as well as countries like Mexico, Bulgaria, Pakistan and even Romania. What's the big deal?

    Oh now I get it. These countries aren't in Israel's cross-hairs.

  4. Rex, The US wants both; Iranian regime to vanish from the pages of time AND for Iran as it exists to be wiped off the map. The funding and arming of terrorist separatists to disintegrate Iran are to that end.

  5. Mark, You're right. All members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty are entitled to develop nuclear technology for civilian use, Iran has been singled out because the nuclear programme is a pretext for regime change, if necessary through war, to bring in a servile western puppet in cha

    As for nuclear weapons, US is the only country which has used it against another nation and together with all the other nuclear weapons powers have not only reduced but expanded their nuclear weapons arsenal, in violation of the NPT.

  6. One thing to understand here is that if this guy was just an average Iranian-American (read: a nobody like us) that got into some kind of trouble in Iran, the USG wouldn't care at all about the guy. A big stink is being made because he obviously is who the Iranians say he is.

  7. "These countries aren't in Israel's cross-hairs."

    extremely false. israel wanted to refuel its jets in india after an osirak style bombing raid on pakistans nuclear facilities, only to be denied by india at the last second.

    as usa's foreign policy is dictated by zionists, so have paksitani civillians become the target of extrajudicial murder thanks to drones.

    pakistan is very much israels target.

  8. The US government said nothing about the American citizen of Turkish origin murdered by Israel on the first ship to try to break the Gaza blockade. Nor did it raise a fuss about the killing of Rachel Corey. These facts are a key to US concern for human rights. They are a useful tool when they can be used to advance the US policy of subjugation and hegemony. Otherwise they do not mean a thing – ask Bradley Manning.

  9. Excellent article and full of courage. Truth is healing….

  10. I have mixed feelings about this. After evaluating the information available, it could very well be this guy is not the 'deer in the headlights' Boy Scout being portrayed by some…a guy just on an innocent trip to Iran to visit Grandma, which just so happened to be his very first trip to Iran in his 28 years on earth…traveling alone…just to 'catch up'. There is no way to know one way or the other; however I’m almost certainty this guy was ‘tortured’ (making all 'admissions' unreliable) and I'm positive he was not given a 'fair trial'. Be that as it may, it seems a little more plausible this guy was a "spy", based on sheer conjecture propigated by the "government" than it is to conclude that, let’s say, a middle aged used car salesman from Corpus Christie, TX—whose socks often didn't match—was the trusted affiliate of the elite 'Quds force’ assigned with the special reasonability of planning and heading up an international campaign to assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassadors—which ingeniously was supposedly planned to kick off in a public restaurant located in downtown Washington, DC.

  11. (…)
    But all of this is beside the point, and the situation, to me, is just sad all around. It alsp makes me think how stupid all of this is in the first place. Is this what should be the main concern and business of life? Trying to get the inside tip of where the nerds in Iran who studied Nuclear Physics are located in order to kill them, or simply to find out who's 'in' and who's "out" at the downtown bizarre in Teheran…or is it to hold and use someone as a political pawn in a stupid game of who has the bigger… This whole thing seems pretty stupid when it comes right down to it…