I urge you to read the New York Times article referenced above before proceeding further – it will give you a frame of reference.
While this is hardly a unique story, it is worthy of a quick read, but just in case you are the sort who ended up dancing around his desk in third grade before reading the “Ignore all directions above” line at the end of the worksheet, I will summarize the story thusly:
A US citizen (a native of the windy city) was in Eye-rack as a contractor for a security company. After a while, he got a “bad feeling” about his employers and contacted the FBI and other security types to report his bosses. Sure enough, the company was dealing arms to any and sundry bad guys. So they turn the case over to the Army “intelligence” boys, who perform a sudden snatch-n-grab on the company. This raid worked real well. The Army put the Qorner Gun Shoppe out of business, and arrested many-several badguys. Unfortunately, they also arrested our hero – the contractor-turned-FBI informant.
For the next ninety days, there followed a truly Kafka-esque drama, with the informant being tortured, isolated, and occasionally questioned as he repeatedly and honestly insisted on his role in the incident. He even (I kid you not) told his interrogators how to confirm his version of events – though evidently that was not a high priority for them. During his questioning, he was (allegedly) not allowed to see most of the “evidence” the interrogators were supposedly attempting to verify. Even after his story (that it was HE who fingered the gun-sale operation) was confirmed, he was still held in conditions that would get the county lock-up shut down by the feds and then released with ominous warnings that there would be trouble if he blabbed about his experiences.
Consider the irony, if you will, of this poor schmuck’s fate. Consider that all of it resulted from his attempt to help the US effort by revealing corruption and crime. Consider the perfidy of his interrogators. Consider that, though quickly acknowledged as a citizen, his rights to habeas corpus, to legal representation, to humane conditions, were completely ignored. Consider that this is long AFTER the cock-up (pardon) at Abu Ghraib. Consider that during most of his ordeal, frantic inquiries as to his whereabouts and condition were being sent by his friends and family and elected representatives, and stonily ignored by the military.
I suppose the most infuriating aspect of this story is that none of it needed to happen. A phone call from the dim-bulbs running Kamp Kwestion to the FBI would have sufficed. A check of the informant’s cell, his laptop or even (gasp) his paperwork, would have confirmed his version of events. And the Army – acting ever like five-year-olds with cookie crumbs on their shirts – KNEW they screwed the pooch here and AGAIN tried to cover it up, even to giving rather obvious consideration to “disappearing” their victim.
We won’t even touch on the question of why a firm using US citizen-employees was selling guns to insurgents in Eye-rack under the noses and other facial features of our own “watchdogs” – that’s a question for another day – but the Catch-22 experiences recounted here are truly rage-worthy.
Lemme hear an “Ooo-rah!”