Tuesday, June 28, 2005

 

Dirty Harry and the detainee from Afghanistan

Underneath the hard copy headline "Inmates sent potty", they had a photo of a man with 200,000 bees on him (a close up of this photo). The photo was not of a detainee being interrogated, but someone trying to set a world record. A bit of poor placement by the Daily Telegraph.

More fictitions to follow.

GUANTANAMO BAY: US military guards are taking extraordinary new measures to make terror suspect detainees confess at the controversial Camp X-Ray base in Cuba.


Camp X-Ray was closed on July 29 2002.

The use of the word "confess" implies that the guards just want the jihadis to confirm what they are saying to them, like a bent cop wanting to wrap up a case. Who knows, maybe they're more interested in gathering new intelligence about the known unknowns and unknown unknowns? No other articles in google news used the word "confess" with regards to the use of Harry Potter books.

Interrogrators at the base where Australian David Hicks is held are spending hours reading Harry Potter books to the inmates in an effort to crack them.


Is an "interrogrator" an interrogator who uses the technique of grating on the detainee?

I'd expect to see this level of inaccuracy in broadsheets like the New York Times or the Sydney Morning Herald, but in a tabloid? What is the world coming to?

Comments:
Poke it with a stick!

On the way home from work yesterday, I noticed unattended luggage - a blue bag with a Chinese-sounding name (written in English) on it. I asked around if anyone owned the bag, and no-one laimed it. The train reached Parramatta station, where more passengers got on. I returned to where the luggage was and asked again if anyone owned the luggage. A guy answered that he didn't, and he was also worried about it. A nearby woman was also worried about it. He rang the transport info line, and it wasn't answering quickly. I decided to contact a security person, several carriages down. I was feeling lousy about telling him, as I was pretty certain that it wasn't a bomb - lost luggage is far more common than bombs, and bombs are usually part of suicide attacks (why miss out on the 72 virgins?) and that I was going to inconvenience passengers already running late. There were about five uniformed people responding: 1 security guard, 2 transit officers and 2 police officers already on the platform. I led them to the carriage but moved outside in case anything went wrong. They had a look and (according to the phone guy) they concluded it was harmless, finding out it was full of rubbish. There were initially planning to throw it over the fence but he persuaded them to be a bit more tidy. A transit officer thanked me for the tipoff. According to the phone guy the officers anticipated the possibility of the luggage exploding - they went to the trouble of asking him to step aside. His phoning the transport info line wasn't much help - after waiting through the options he reached the option of complaining about untidiness to a human operator, he mentioned the luggage and was transferred to another operator and was asked his name (I think) and where and when he got on, which might make sense for determining which train he's on but sounds somewhat bureaucratic. The woman who was also worried about the luggage had got off, as had apparently many people in the vestibule area, but many people in the inside area had stayed where they were - and not because they were afraid of losing their seat.

Conclusions:
Don't hesitate to tell security about unclaimed luggage. The chances of inconveniencing anyone is fairly remote.

Don't count on someone else doing something. In an unusual situation, especially if there are many people there, the default action of many people is to do nothing.

Don't call the transport info line. Cityrail says that you should contact an officer or call 000. It doesn't suggest calling the transport info line.

If you see unattended luggage and someone else is dealing with it, then leave the carriage if possible, as uniformed staff may decide to handle it without evacuating the carriage first.
 
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