An extraordinary moment, or so I thought, on Democracy Now today (Tues Sep 9 2008), as they played “highlights” of the RNC. The speaker is Benjamin Thompson, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. I thought it was spectacular (unintentional!) prose poetry, actually including important information. DN juxtaposed it well, I think, if you watch their video. Text below, I have very lightly edited the text and inserted line breaks. “This” in the 6th line is a tattoo in arabic on his arm. Video at http://www.democracynow.org/ 56 minutes in. That whole segment (from about 40 minutes onwards) is well worth watching.
One of my prisoners at Abu Ghraib,
— you didn’t know the half of it.
Most of our people didn’t live in those cell blocks.
Most of the people lived outdoors.
They’re killed by enemy insurgents, in our camps.
This prisoner — this means God hopes for peace.
We had ten-year-old boys in my camps.
We had an eighty-year-old blind man in my camp.
They were killed by enemy fire, because we did not protect them
They were not worth protecting.
The generals that came to my base came with three helicopters apiece.
And when they left, they took ’em with ’em.
We were giving them food that made them sick.
We were giving them water that gave them kidney stones.
We weren’t supplying them with medical attention.
They were dying from lack of heart medication that they’d been on for twenty years.
You never heard about this – ever! – because of the fucking photographs.
The Department of Defense focused all of the attention upon those atrocious acts
committed by war criminals, my brother and sister military policemen.
And then everything else that happened at that prison
to the other 95 percent of those prisoners,
went unreported in the media.
This is not OK.