If you have a spare six hours, be sure to sit down with Larissa MacFarquhar's never ending, hagiographic profile of Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein in this week's New Yorker. There is plenty of material to boil the blood, though I particularly liked this bit, when Klein explains how the so-called "Tipton Three" ended up being captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan:
While they were waiting for the interview to start, the interviewer, a young man in a black T-shirt, asked her what she'd been doing lately. She told him that she'd been working on the movie version of "The Shock Doctrine," which was being made by the director of "Road to Guantánamo."
"Did you see 'Road to Guantánamo'?" she asked.
"No. I heard about it, though."
"It's excellent-it's intercut between interviews with the Tipton Three"-three young British men who were held in Guantánamo for two years-"and they're just, like, blokes, you know? The best moment in the film was when one of them suggests going to Afghanistan because they've got massive naans there. That was the reason."
Read that again. These three religious zealots ended up in a warzone a month after the 9/11 attacks because Afghanistan is notorious for its huge naan bread.
Now. Either Klein is the most credulous writer working today or she is willfully distorting the story of the these three bozos (And as one London Times columnist wrote, if their "account is to be believed then these three are either the luckiest or unluckiest men in Britain, and certainly among the stupidest."). I haven't seen the Michael Winterbottom film, and, from what I have read, I would doubtless agree with his argument that the case was poorly handled from the get go, but this doesn't mean that these Keystone Talibianistas are telling the truth. Klein might want to look beyond the Road to Guantanamo film and see that one of the three recently admitted that did he indeed visit a terror training camp, where he trained with weapons. As The Guardian noted after this rather consequential revelation, "None of [this new evidence] justifies or excuses his sub-legal and subhuman treatment in Guantanamo, but it does raise some questions about the portrayal, in some quarters of the media, of the Tipton Three as blameless heroes."
Johan Norberg debunked The Shock Doctrine in reason here.