This Guantanamo Life


This weekend, on an episode called "Haebeas Schmaebeas," This American Life interviews some former Guantanamo detainees, including Badr Zaman Badr, who was interrogated for months about a satirical piece mocking the state of the Afghan economy in which he and his brother responded to Bill Clinton's offer of $5 million for the capture of Osama bin Laden with an offer of 5 million Afghanis—that is, about $113—for the arrest of Bill Clinton. The piece also cites Seton Hall Law School's "Report on Guantanamo", which suggests that the camp does not, contra the Bush adminstrations persistent claims, consist primarily of dangerous terrorists. The show gives an unsettling close-up of how little it takes to be held at Gitmo—and how little protection the current hearing system provides.

NEXT: Every time that I plant a seed, Sheriff Steve Prator says give me your name and SS# before I let it grow

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  1. $113 for the arrest of Bill Clinton?

    Hell, I’d give $113 to see him arrested! Especially if he had to do a perp walk. I’d even give $120. Auction! Do I hear $125? Anybody?

  2. $125!

  3. Gee, Clinton in jail…wonder what that would do for his sex life.

  4. Glad to see that the threat posed by Casio watches to the freedom of Afghanis with beards didn’t escape the notice of Seton Hall. Sure signs of danger.

  5. I was in a better mood before I read Julian’s post.

  6. Hmm, I’d like to listen. For once, This American Life might not be the most boring radio show in history.

  7. Why does Casio Corp. hate America?

  8. You have to love this quote (in the Newsday piece) from Army Col. Samuel Rob – “you cannot equate it to a justice system…”

    At least he’s not entirely deluded.

  9. A true patriot wears a Timex.

    I just hope these truck bombers don’t drive F-150’s.

  10. I heard most of the program — which is unusual for me, because while I generally like NPR and the like I cordially detest “This American Life”.

    “Habeas Schmabeas” was engaging and thoughtful. It did not, of course, consider any opposing viewpoints, but did talk in depth with several English-fluent Gitmo detainees. The whole thing came across as absurd more than horrifying, which probably shows good judgment on the part of the editors more than anything else. (There were some more disturbing bits, but they were not the core of the story.)

    I may actually write a congratulatory email to the persons responsible, but then, I’m lazy….

  11. First, that “5 million Afghanis” thing is funny, I don’t care who you are. The security services in this country are run by freaking Vogons.

    Second, I’d pay $113 to see Bill Clinton do a perp walk, and I LIKE Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton is funny, I don’t care who you are.

  12. I hate to admit it, but I really, really, like TAL.

    I heard part of this program driving home the other night, and it was surreal.

  13. This American Life is the only show I can think of that’ll make me change the dial from 103.1. If you find something better than This American Life to listen to on the radio, listen to it. …but I’d sure like to know what that is.

  14. I could swear TAL first aired this piece over a year ago.

  15. 113.00 for the arrest of Bill is one of the funniest things I’ve seen………..

  16. If they can’t even bother to check how to spell “Habeas”, I don’t have much confidence in the rest.

  17. JW:…I’d even give $120. Auction! Do I hear $125? Anybody?

    Stevo Darkly:…$125!

    I’ll give $150 US and add $150 if Hillary is part of the perp walk too! That’s $300 (3/5 oz Au .999)

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