The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Another predictable outcome

Of course the Taliban treat their prisoners better than we do. It's excellent P.R. for them, and makes us look really bad:

At first, our guards impressed me. They vowed to follow the tenets of Islam that mandate the good treatment of prisoners. In my case, they unquestionably did. They gave me bottled water, let me walk in a small yard each day and never beat me.

But they viewed me — a nonobservant Christian — as religiously unclean and demanded that I use a separate drinking glass to protect them from the diseases they believed festered inside nonbelievers.

My captors harbored many delusions about Westerners. But I also saw how some of the consequences of Washington’s antiterrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban.

Of all the reasons to treat prisoners well, P.R. ranks at the bottom. It's still a reason, however. It's also something that we Americans invented, and usually do reasonably well. So, even if you don't agree that all prisoners deserve, by virtue of being human, a basic level of decent treatment, possibly you could agree that treating captives worse than the Taliban does will damage our brand a bit?

(Via Andrew Sullivan, who says: "So that's one more feather in Cheney's cap: he brought prisoner treatment under the US to below that of the Taliban.")

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