Sunday, October 9, 2011

Film Recommendation of the Week...

Taxi To The Dark Side
Release date April 30, 2007.
Running time 1 hour 46 minutes.

If you're wondering how the Bush administration sold it's soul to the Devil and compromised everything the United States is supposed to stand for, this is a documentary that must not be missed. The premise begins with an Afghan taxi driver who is taken into custody by US armed forces and dies in custody. The autopsy ruled that he was a victim of homicide, and is seemingly ignored.

What was the US policy on torture? Who was getting arrested and why? What intelligence were the arresting officials acting on when making arrests? What is the difference between a POW and an "enemy combatant" in regards to the Geneva Convention? All of these questions and more are answered by this brilliantly researched film by master documentary film maker Alex Gibney.

The reprehensible acts at Abu Ghraib had a precedent, and that was the goings on at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where taxi driver Dilawar was taken and turned up dead five days later at the hands of his captors, leaving behind a young daughter and wife. Was anyone made to pay for this crime? You'll be disappointed with the results of the investigation and the people who literally got away with murder.

Here is a write-up on the arrest of Dilawar with his arrest photo (from The Washington Post)-

In 2002, a young Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar, who'd never spent a night away from his dusty little village, got lost in the fog of war and took a wrong turn into an abyss from which he would never return. It was a detention center at Bagram Air Base, where he was grilled on suspicion of being a Taliban fighter. Military interrogators hung him from a cage in chains, kept him up all night and kicked him senseless, turning his legs into pulp.
He lasted only five days. The Army initially attributed his death to natural causes, even though coroners had ruled it a homicide. Low-level soldiers were punished. It turned out that Dilawar (who, like many Afghans, used only one name) was not an enemy fighter, had no terrorist connections and had committed no crime at all.

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