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Friday, July 07, 2006

Please Stop 

Hullabaloo discusses an alarming story. A Moroccan man is taken to a dungeon and tortured for weeks over misunderstood Arabic:

He said the interrogators focused on a telephone conversation they said he had had with his wife's family in Kenya about airplanes. But Mr. Saidi said he told them that he could not recall talking to anyone about planes.
... Mr. Saidi said he was talking about tires, not planes, that his brother-in-law planned to sell from Kenya to Tanzania. He said he was mixing English and Arabic and used the word "tirat," making "tire" plural by adding an Arabic "at" sound. Whoever was monitoring the conversation apparently understood the word as "tayarat," Arabic for planes, Mr. Saidi said.

Digby has an interesting reflection on this, but what struck me was the desperation of the anti-terrorist squad and the real incompetence implied by these indiscriminate snooping measures we keep hearing about. Of course more things like this are going to happen, unless journalists and politicians stop being such cowards and put an end to the nonsense. But I doubt that will happen unless Natalee Holloway escapes from some secret prison and tells her story.


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