Open Letter to David Welna and NPR’s Morning Edition

Dear David Welna,

Shame on you. Your story this morning (“Senate Debates Treatment of Detainees“) on the Senator Richard Durbin’s comments did a huge disservice to your listeners by failing to provide the full context of the story.

The way our government is treating our prisoners is unlawful, reprehensible and downright disgusting. How can you see fit to include Senator Durbin’s comparison sentence and fail to include the statement by the FBI? Congratulations on turning an important story into a patsy filler piece. It’s good to know that I can count on NPR to leave out the important details of a story.

I’m trying to keep this message civil so I can’t fully communicate how completely pissed off I am with your probably intentional bungling of this article. In case you somehow missed it, I have provided the full quote below.


“When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]–I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

    On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime–Pol Pot or others–that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”






Leave a Reply