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April 22, 2008

What the heck is going on down there?
Posted by Ken Gude

I fail to understand how the Bush administration could have screwed up its detainee policy so badly. Yes, their record is a long catalog of catastrophic failures, from the grossly flawed strategy in Iraq to the complete indifference during Katrina. But the issue of detaining and interrogating suspected al Qaeda terrorists is different--they cared as much or more about it as they did getting rid of Saddam Hussein, but they gave the job to a whole bunch of Brownies, and they sure have been doin' a heck uva job.

The latest evidence comes from a story in today's Washington Post and a book excerpt that ran in the Guardian last Saturday. The Post story details allegations from Guantanamo detainees that they were forcibly drugged during interrogations, transfers, and to restrain them in their cells. While it seems unlikely (though not impossible) that there was widespread use of drugs during interrogations, the most plausible explanations for the consistent accounts from detainees is that they were given chemical restraints to subdue them and those administering the drugs had no idea what they were doing.

Philippe Sands, in his new book Torture Team, portions of which were re-printed in the Guardian over the weekend, uncovered more stories of mind boggling inexperience and incompetence. Topping the list was the revelation that the source of greatest inspiration during the development of interrogations techniques at Guantanamo was none other than Jack Bauer. Yes, the guy from 24, and no, I am not kidding. The junior staff lawyer responsible for approving the list of techniques told Sands that Bauer "gave people lots of ideas."

The Bush administration believed that interrogating terrorist suspects was so important that bedrock principles which formed the basis of our military culture for decades were "obsolete". The reason why they thought it was so important was that they feared we were all going to die in another al Qaeda attack and information gained from interrogations was in some cases our first and only line of defense. But instead of bringing in experienced interrogators and knowledgeable regional and al Qaeda experts, we got Dr. Quinn and Jack Bauer. This is the nature of my confusion.


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With all due respect, these horrid facts have been around since the beginning almost. is a great site - and they have compiled a lot of information. There are a multitude of books by detainees as well as military people. We all knew about Camp X-ray and how horrific they were being treated.

No one wanted to believe it, much less deal with it. I applaud your willingness to encourage people to now, though. I hope you have better luck than I have had. Sadly people still don't want to deal with it. I guess because it's so horrid.

Thanks again.

The Religious and Spiritual Leaders of the Abrahamic Faith

Subject: A Clarion Call to Establish the Religious Brotherhood on the light of Abrahamic Faith.

“The patriarch of all the believers of Allah (God), i.e. Jews, Christians, and Muslims is Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him, Abraham, PBUH). He built the Kaaba in Makkah with his first-born son Ismael (Peace be upon him, PBUH). This was an order from Allah (SWT) that Ibrahim and Ismael (PBUT) construct this Holy House of Allah (SWT) as a place of worship for all the believers on earth. Ismael (Peace be upon him, PBUH) was 17 at the time he and his father built the Kaaba. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him, PBUH), a descendent of the Prophet Ismael (Peace be upon him, PBUH), would come nearly 2,500 years after Kaaba was built and reunify it as a holy place of worship, according to the teachings of the Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him, PBUH). As stated in the Torah and in the Holy Quran "all the generations will be blessed through Ibrahim (Peace be upon him, PBUH)" (Genesis 12 and 18 Holy Bible, Chp 2 Verses 123-141 Holy Quran).”

Dear Religious and Spiritual Leaders,

I wish to plead and make a fervent call to all my brothers/sisters across the world through the courtesy of this letter in carrying forward, upholding the message of Allah (God), His love for mankind, and ensuring lasting peace in a troubled world. The purpose of portraying my call upon all revered world leaders, politicians, and heads of states, policy makers, academicians, and civil society, spiritual and religious leaders is aimed at removing mistrust, misunderstandings the world is unnecessarily obsessed with, we have to liberate the world of undue tensions and wrangling.

My dear revered Brothers and Sisters, I have been working tirelessly for establishing peace for nearly twenty-five years. We are definitely running out of time. Everyday a large number of innocent lives are taking their toll for no fault of their own. This has to be arrested. The burning question is how this can be arrested? We can only achieve this by arriving at a common consensus and share our noble vision, thoughts, pooling our energy, resources, dialogs based on religious and spiritual concepts together on one common platform and thus thrust all our force in that direction without further wastage of time. Our Holy Books and Scriptures are the source of eternal light to erase all such misconceptions and misgivings. These sacred books as ordained by Allah (God) are irrevocable. It is enshrined and has come to us as an eternal source of strength, driving force sent through our Holy prophets at different times for the betterment of mankind. Unfortunately, we have not been able to use and exploit this to our advantage, as was the enlightened desire of Allah, through His Divine prophets. We are potentially still a force to reckon with on the driving seat to harness our good virtues for the peace of the world.

It is therefore imperative, I feel, that concerted effort needed to renew our honest will to establish the doctrines of Allah in this world, in thoughts, words and deeds, if not we are bound to perish and vanish from the good book of Allah. Politicians, policy and lawmakers and religious leaders of all faith, belief has to work in close conjunction in order to materialize our dream for a world of progress and prosperity. My thoughts go out for the oppressed and the depressed. It is true, many thought provoking, peace loving individuals, groups are working in reducing tension and conflicts, but unfortunately not much has been achieved. It is only through the doctrine of preaching love and respect for families under Allah (God) and the teachings of His innumerable prophets that were sent for the welfare of mankind at different times can bring about welfare, happiness of mankind.

Followers of the Abrahamic faith having one common ancestral root in fact preach love and peace, religious harmony, having sprung from one land. This indeed is a big boon and blessing that we can be proud of. It is time for reality and not rhetoric. It is through this vehicle that we can effectively mobilize our engine together by bringing the Abrahamic faith of all religious faiths together for establishing lasting peace. I have been running all over the world relentlessly making sincere effort to preach the ideology of Islamic Sufism as enunciated and preached by our Holy prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon him, PBUH) who inherits the fundamentals of Hazrat Abraham (Peace be upon him) as are also firmly rooted in the common ideology of our Jews and Christian brothers.

I am convinced that we can march forward in our common goals and gospel without further delay, in fostering synchronization on the principles of our common glorious heritage. I would like to make a call upon all world leaders to form a consensus to ensure that this can be established. Unfortunately in recent years, Islam has been widely misunderstood and there lies one of the saddest tragedies of our contemporary world. We believe that our prophets who had all been sent and ordained by Allah were His peaceful messengers for the spread of fraternal brotherhood and live in peaceful coexistence.


Shah Sufi Saleh Uddin Ahmed Chisty
Religious and Spiritual Leader.
International President,
Publication and Co-ordination Centre of Islamic
Ideology and Sufi-ism (PCCIIS International).
-In consultative status the with ECOSOC and
Associated with DPI of the United Nations.

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Up Rise of Militants in SAARC Region is there any Way out.

South Asian association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional forum of South Asian countries – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan. The last one has been recently incorporated in the forum. Launched in the mid 80s, the forum couldn’t proceed substantially.

Whereas, the neighboring grouping ASEAN has generally been hailed as one of the most successful experiment in regional cooperation in the developing world, particularly in its ability to manage conflicts and maintain peace and security in Southeast Asia. On the other hand, SAARC is perceived as a moribund organization. It has made little progress in furthering peace and cooperation in the region.

Regionalism is indeed peculiar to its own region making for a different set of challenges, which each regional grouping has to address by evolving suitable models of conflict management and regional cooperation.

Moreover, the SAARC countries like EU, ASEAN and other groupings couldn’t take effective steps to reduce trade-gap among the member countries -- even the economic agreement SAFTA is yet to be implemented although it was signed in the early 90s. Besides, they have failed to remove chronic barriers concerning domestic and external trade. It so happened due to distrust among the member countries. Above all, the SARC charter itself doesn’t allow to solve long pending bilateral issues and problems. As a result, peace in the region has been hampered badly, paving the way for widespread terrorism in different banners including ethnic struggle and up rise of militants including Taliban.


What we see in the region that Sri Lanka is struggling with 30 yrs old war between the government and Tamil rebels, Pakistan has been facing ethnic problems along with the existence of Taliban, India toiling with pending Kashmir issue, ethnic problems in seven sisters as well as communal conflict in other parts, and Bangladesh at risk with the rapid growth of religious militants. Who will solve these problems, the Super Powers, UNO? The answer should be a big NO. The regional member countries, through the forum or bilateral/ trilateral meetings have to resolve these problems and it is very much possible.

Through this regional forum security can also be ensured. What is needed is the free will the willingness to solve the problems for the betterment of the vast multitude.

Politicians, the government in particular, need to find out ways to solve the problems and to take effective measures to eliminate the problems. But, they have almost failed to do so, rather different .governments have lingered those issues – it is true in cases of Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. Bangladesh is no exception, although a peace treaty has been signed to end the war between tribal people and the government in Chittagong Hill Tract, now hill districts of Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhri .Perhaps, there is no scope to ignore Afghanistan, where prolonged wars and up rise of Taliban have destroyed its economy and the country as a whole. It happened due to the weakness of then government there.

As the governments in the region have failed to manage their internal problems, violence is continuing in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and even in Nepal .Failure of the politicians have created the situation to install emergency in Bangladesh. Bombing in a Bombay hotel is the latest one that has deteriorated the relation between the two countries. Following the incident, India and Pakistan are playing blame-game – India is alleging Pakistan for the attack while Pakistan I is accusing India for it.

Blame game is not the solution, the war for which India is preparing would not be able to solve it since both the countries possess nuclear bomb and weapons. Both the countries will be ruined if the nuclear bomb/weapon be used.


What’s the way out? We need to look deep into the matter, the origin of all such problems, religious issue. It is true in case of both the countries, even it is applicable to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Elements as such are also available in Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.

As a matter of fact, the main problem lies with the ignorance of true religion. As a result, believers of all the religious groups including Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jews and others are becoming fanatic in nature. Moreover, a majority of these people are not economically solvent but belong to middle-class societies who are usually hanker after social change. Utilizing these tendencies among the common believers, a section of people are involving or recruiting these people in various militant groups under the banner of religion and manipulating them towards destructive activities in and outside their countries.

Unfortunately, the leaders of these militant groups are also not well
educated and have got no clear conception about the religions and the
Holy Books. That’s why, they either perhaps unknowingly misinterpreting and misquoting the Holy Books or intentionally doing so to fulfill their ulterior motive in the name of establishing religion based rule. Sometimes, it is found that these sort leaders preach that one can achieve heaven through sacrificing his life in the name of religion. They don’t know that not a single Holy Book supports such heinous act. Such ignorant leaders in disguise of religious leaders misinterpret and misquote Holy Book to motivate the recruited persons towards anti-religious and anti-social activities including suicidal attack. Mentionable, no Holy Book supports suicidal act. Rather, such an act is Punishable by all laws.

Summing up all the facts, we feel that immediate steps to be taken to check such militant activity, which is dismantling the image of all the true religions and Holy Books. World leaders are now convinced that such activities must be uprooted. But, they should realize that it cannot be stopped by force, through anti-terrorism drive alone in such countries.

We need to enlighten the common believers as well as the militants. Who will take the responsibility? Spiritual leaders, who have got thorough knowledge of particular Holy Books, can perform the job in an unbiased way. What’s the standard of it?


Since we are dealing mainly with the Indo-Pak Subcontinent, we can easily take Sri Ram Krishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sultanul Hind Garib-E-Newaz Hazrat Khawja Mainuddin Chisty (R.), Hazrat Mujadded Al-Fesani (R.), Hazrat Shah Jalal (R.) and such spiritual leaders of Buddhist and Christian community as the standard.

Spiritual leaders as such were never vindictive, rather they spread religion in a non-violent way which is the motto of Hazrat Musa (Moses), Hazrat Issa (Jesus Christ), Hazrat Muhammad(Peace be upon him), Sri Krishna and Goutama Buddha.

I believe, representatives of the aforesaid spiritual leaders can take the lead in educating the common believers with a view to give actual knowledge of the Holy Books. They can also help them to remove the misconceptions from their mind and society as a whole. So, the respective governments -- headed by genuine spiritual leaders, Sufiistic in particular—need to take concerted effort incorporating the concerned persons including politicians, intellectuals and other professionals. In fine, I will also suggest to introduce modern mediation practices in the light of the Holy Books. Hope it will work to rectify the militants and the common believers as well.

Allah Hafez.

Shah Sufi Saleh Uddin Ahmed Chisty
International President and CEO,
Publication and Co-ordination Centre of Islamic
Ideology and Sufi-ism (PCCIIS International).

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