Just an update on the Graham Amendment, that assault on our constitution that I posted about some time ago. Hilary and Katherine, the two heroines of Obsidian Wings, have stayed on the job, while the rest of us wrung our hands and chirped "Call your Senators."
Specifically, they're going after Senator Graham's completely bizarre statement that "Two medical malpractice claims have come out of this…. Never in the history of the rule of law of armed conflict has an enemy combatant, POW, person who is trying to kill U.S. troops, been given the right to sue those same troops for their medical care."
First of all, you can just hear the balls rattling off old Mr. Graham's brain: he sees fake whiplash neck braces, people holding their heads, and a darn good talking point. I can't think he really means this:
"[redacted] is from Yemen. He had an injury to his shin and the US amputated more than necessary. However, because he has refused to cooperate with his interrogators, the US military refused for two years to give him a prosthetic limb. The clinic showed him such a prosthetic several times and said that he could only have it if he talked to his interrogators.
Other prisoners who have been denied prosthetic devices unless they cooperate with the interrogators include (...) [redacted] from Saudi Arabia who was denied a prosthetic limb for more than eight months, [redacted] from Yemen who was denied a prosthetic limb for more than two and a half years, and [redacted] from Tukistan (sic) who is without a prosthetic foot to this date, after three years."
* p. 16: One detainee reports the following:
"One mental health professional actually described to Mr. Begg how he could hang himself. She said that he could take his underwear, thread a blanket or trousers through this, and use it to hang himself. Mr. Begg has since been unable to get this image out of his mind, and it haunts him constantly. For a mental health professional to say this to a patient is the height of stupidity, irresponsibility, or sadism."
Moazzam Begg is also among one of the leading plaintiffs in Rasul v. Rumsfeld ( the suit that prompted Graham's legislation.), and had his story dramatized in last year's Broadway play, Guantanamo. What he carries inside him I cant't imagine.
I just chose a piece of this section, from an extremely complex and important series of posts. PLEASE go check out the whole series. Please go read. Be aware. Write and talk about this whenever you can. (And for lobbying marching orders, check here.)
I'll be back, to talk a bit about my newest pair of projects - my little contribution to the story of the things they carry.