Saturday, April 07, 2007

What does this tell us?

Who knows the truth about the English sailors and marines in the Persian Gulf? Not me, not you, and probably nobody who's listening to the government pronouncements from either England or Iran.

What we do know is that a number of the captives went on Iranian television and said what the Iranians wanted them to say. Let me repeat that: they claim that because they were mistreated, they said what their captors wanted them to say.

“There was a lot of trickery, and mind games being played,” Lt. Felix Carman, 26, of the Royal Navy, said when six of the Britons, freed two days ago, appeared at a news conference on Friday to chronicle for the first time in public a 14-day ordeal that began, by their account, when Iranian Revolutionary Guards apprehended them in Iraqi waters, executing what seemed a planned and heavily armed ambush.

“We were interrogated most nights, and presented with two options,” Lieutenant Carman said. “If we admitted we had strayed, we would be on a plane back to the U.K. soon. If we didn’t we faced up to seven years in prison.”

Who cares?

Well, the Bushies have been telling us for some time that they have to be able to torture people so they can get them to talk, yet here is a story of people who don't seem to have been treated nearly as badly as we've treated people at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo (not to mention those secret locations our friends have maintained for us) and they confessed to everything the Iranians wanted them to confess to. And now they say it's not true.

So what are the odds that the people we're torturing are making stuff up?


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