A defeat for decency, in my city

Via Delong, via Eric Alterman, the demonstration effect also goes in the wrong direction.  Seventy nine Muslims and five (Jewish) Israelis were tortured in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center by corrections officers.

“Defense attorneys call it Brooklyn’s Abu Ghraib. On the ninth floor of the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, terrorism suspects swept off the streets after the Sept. 11 attacks were repeatedly stripped naked and frequently were physically abused, the Justice Department’s inspector general has found.

The detainees – none of whom were ultimately charged with anything related to terrorism – alleged in sworn affidavits and in interviews with Justice Department officials that correction officers:

  • Humiliated them by making fun of – and sometimes painfully squeezing – their genitals.

  • Deprived them of regular sleep for weeks or months.

  • Shackled their hands and feet before smashing them repeatedly face-first into concrete walls – within sight of the Statue of Liberty.

  • Forced them in winter to stand outdoors at dawn while dressed in light cotton prison garb and no shoes, sometimes for hours.”