I wonder if Osama bin Laden (and other radical Islamicists) would approve that a fictional young wizard has “bewitched” some of his followers detained at Guantanamo Bay. A librarian there told Reuters that “Harry Potter is a popular title among some of the detainee population.” While the reporter, a Carolyn Drees, does note the camp is for “foreign terrorism suspects,” she points out that the prison “which has come under fierce attack by human rights groups for its treatment and indefinite detention of prisoners.” She doesn’t mention that recent reports have dismissed the most serious allegations leveled against the camp.
Although the subject of the article is how much the terrorist detainees enjoy Harry Potter (as well as other books), Ms. Drees seems to dwell on the allegations of torture, concluding by noting that some critics want to shut the place down. (She neither names the critics nor the human rights groups which have “assailed” the U.S. for its policies there.) While she reports that 242 detainees have been released, she neglects to say that some of those have traveled to Afghanistan to take up arms against the government there and its American allies.
While Ms. Drees may be dredging up these charges in an attempt to attack the U.S., her article ends up proving that this detention facility is hardly the terrible place described by many Administration critics. That our military provides the suspected terrorists a library which stocks Harry Potter in four languages as well as “12 different Agatha Christie titles in Arabic“–and even the 1001 Nights–is a sign that we recognize the prisoners’ humanity. The article even notes a prisoner has requested the Harry Potter movies. They can request movies? But, I thought Guantanamo was a torture chamber.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com