Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dana Priest Appreciation Thread

This post is more than just an appreciation thread for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Priest. This is also going to be our crash course in the existence of CIA "black sites", or classified facilities whose existence is denied by the U.S. government.

In November 2002, a newly minted CIA case officer in charge of a secret
prison just north of Kabul allegedly ordered guards to strip naked an
uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave
him there overnight without blankets, according to four U.S. government
officials aware of the case.

The Afghan guards -- paid by the CIA and working under CIA supervision in
an abandoned warehouse code-named the Salt Pit -- dragged their captive around
on the concrete floor, bruising and scraping his skin, before putting him in his
cell, two of the officials said.

As night fell, so, predictably, did the temperature.

By morning, the Afghan man had frozen to death.

The above excerpt is from an article authored by Priest. "CIA Avoids Scrutiny of Detainee Treatment" was published by The Washington Post on March 3, 2005, and although it never got the attention it deserved in the mainstream media, it sparked an international debate on the existence of "black sites". Priest also wrote "CIA Holds Terror Suspects In Secret Prisons", which was published by The Washington Post on November 2, 2005.

Both articles are important because they were the first to reference "The Salt Pit", the detention facility that Khaled al-Masri was detained at for five months in 2004. Take a few minutes to read the articles and I'll have more on "The Salt Pit" on a future post.

CORRECTION: Everything you need to know about "The Salt Pit" can be found in Ms. Priest's articles. Enjoy!

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Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

Do we have someone ready to post at 1500? If not, let me know.

2:40 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Yes, we do - per's covering both 1500 and 1530. Mash's doing 1600. You want 1630?

Thanks for the links, by the way. It's courageous journalists like Priest, who actually take their role as defenders of the public seriously, that create what little check their is on government power. When I get time, I'll make sure to read and ponder those articles carefully.

2:43 PM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

Sure. I could use a break. I'll take 1630 and 1700 if you want.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Heathlander, who has 3 and 3:30? Is it Per? I've got one of my posts ready to go for 4pm or sooner if you need.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Per said...

I still need a slot for #7

2:49 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

robbie - great! They're yours. Thanks for helping out so much, by the way. It's really appreciated.

Mash - yeh, per's got them covered. Looking forward to your article at 4.

I've just finished vomiting after reading 4 Dershowitz articles on the trot. It's too much for me! :)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Marcella Chester said...

I'm back from errands and ready to work on another post. What slots are open?

2:52 PM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Heathlander, I know we are writing about torture, but why would you torture yourself by reading Dershowitz? :)

2:54 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

OK, we've got 1730 open, and then from 1830 onwards.

How about marcella does 1730 and per does 1830?

Mash - I know! Perhaps for my third post I'll write a first-hand account of my experience. It's gotta be against the Conventions...I'll look into it.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Marcella Chester said...

How about marcella does 1730 -- works for me.

3:13 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Great - looking forward to it.

3:17 PM  
Blogger said...

We've added your great site to ours!

Hope you will add our site to yours.

keep up the great work!

2:33 PM  
Blogger said...

er... it's not the blog site, in case i wasn't clear, it's actually ..sorry for any confustion.


2:34 PM  
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12:34 AM  

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