The U.S. government gave the slave trade a boost
by offering money for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Afghan and Pakistani warlords
simply rounded up people who looked Arab or foreign and sold them to the Americans
as captured fighters. The "fighters" apparently included relief workers,
refugees, and Arab businessmen. The tribunals looking into the classification
of Guantanamo prisoners as "enemy combatants" have uncovered numerous
examples of hapless victims of a naive U.S. government too flush with money.
The Bush administration, of course, denies that it bought its detainees, as
it denies everything. However, on May 31, 2005, Michelle Faul of the Associated
Press reported that in March 2002, leaflets and broadcasts from helicopters
in Afghanistan enticed Afghans to "Hand over the Arabs and feed your families
for a lifetime." One leaflet said: "You can receive millions of dollars.
This is enough to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the
rest of your life, pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing
for all your people."
Najeeb al-Nauimi, a former Qatar justice minister, leads a group of lawyers
representing 100 detainees who were sold to the naive Americans. He says a consortium
of wealthy Arabs are buying back fellow citizens kidnapped by Pakistani gangs
before they can be sold to the Americans.
More is going on here than merely unintended consequences of a harebrained
policy. The Bush administration has proven itself to be utterly irresponsible
in the use of power. And it keeps demanding more power, including the suspension
of our civil liberties in order to better fight "terrorism."
Aside from 9/11, an event of several years ago, the only terrorism the U.S.
has experienced is the terrorism Bush created by invading Iraq. Why are we worried
about Osama bin Laden when the moronic Bush administration is so adept at creating
Notice the pattern. Bush creates terrorism and then suspends our
civil liberties in the name of his war on terror.
The real terror Americans experience comes from their own government. Indeed,
consider the terror the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, and its 85,000 worldwide
employees experienced as a result of the Gestapo tactics of federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors used a stupid jury and a weak-minded judge to convict an entire
accounting firm for the actions of the few accountants who handled the Enron
account. It was completely clear at the time that whereas a case existed against
a few individual accountants, no case existed against the firm itself. Arbitrary
and capricious prosecutors grabbed power. The American public was so whipped
up in a frenzy over Enron that it didn't care whose blood was spilled. Just
as someone had to pay for 9/11 even if it is our own troops and tens
of thousands of innocent Iraqis who had no more to do with 9/11 than the U.S.
troops who are losing their lives and limbs someone had to pay for Enron.
So the prosecutors destroyed Arthur Andersen, one of the top 10 companies in
the world ranked by market value and one of America's greatest assets.
Now the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the conviction. The highest court says
Arthur Andersen was not guilty. But how do we bring Arthur Andersen back to
life and restore the reputations and careers of its many thousands of employees?
Federal prosecutors effectively executed the firm and destroyed the highly valuable
Don't expect Bush, who admits no mistake, to make restitution for the criminal
actions of his Department of Justice (sic). The remedy is a civil suit by all
the partners and employees of Arthur Andersen against the U.S. government for
damages. I think $1 trillion is a good number. It is a figure demanded by justice.
And it will serve the cause of peace by bankrupting the warmongering Bush administration
and applying the brake to Bush's wars of empire.