YouTube unblocks video of 13yo Syrian boy allegedly tortured, killed by government thugs

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68 Responses to “YouTube unblocks video of 13yo Syrian boy allegedly tortured, killed by government thugs”

  1. Ring Peanut Gallery says:

    I’m impressed by how positively uncritically sure everyone is that this video is genuine (I have to admit I have not had the stomach to watch it). They do some mighty convincing visuals in Hollywood that could be even more convincing in lo-res, presented as news, etc. It certainly is a powerful piece of propaganda; and I have to ask myself, whose interests are best served by this sort of thing…? I’m sure we all remember the atrocity with the babies in the incubator in Kuwait 20 years ago… And wasn’t that when Saddam Husein was almost invited to attack Kuwait by the US ambassador…?

  2. bklynchris says:

    Also, I just finished reading a fascinating book by Jon Ronson, “The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry”. THe book blasts light on a number of aspects related to this topic, but as it pertains here…who the people are that are capable of committing these atrocities, and how they are found.

    eg-it is conjectured that upon completing the Hare evaluation
    1% of the general population are psychopaths
    10% of the prison population (though they are responsible for half of all prison violence)
    AND, wait for it…
    4% of CEO’s are considered psychopaths

    I can only guess at what the % would be for politicians and heads of state

  3. Crispian says:

    This is the kind of story that makes me want the US to go to war to stop such atrocities – unlike Libya where there was merely the threat of civil war (and now there is one). All the nations that have actually fired on protestors and tortured civilians face little repercussion.

    • Gulliver says:

      Except that this crap goes down in dozens of nations. And every time our country does intercede to aid rebels or replace regimes, we reap the chain of unintended consequences ever after and the more immediate cost of nation building. We have neither the resources nor a constitutional mandate to serve as the world’s police.

  4. blueelm says:

    I’m almost glad that I’m at work right now where I can not watch it.

    That being said, I think it is deeply disturbing. No, that doesn’t mean the answer is to bomb everything and everyone. But it does explain what people are fighting for and what they are up against.

    It’s harder to be so complacent when faced with it directly.

  5. Mister44 says:

    I can’t conceive the hatred needed to do this to a 13 year old.

  6. noen says:

    America has done the exact same thing. Remember those pictures and videos taken at Guantanamo? No, not the ones that were released, the ones the CIA destroyed. Those showed children being raped and murdered in front of their mother, either by Americans or by our friends. Your Senator saw them.

    We sent people off to black sites to be tortured and murdered, including women and children. George Bush ok’d it, the CIA flew them there and watched as they were tortured in our name.

    After all, torture works and it’s ok to torture someone to save lives. Just ask John Yoo. Just ask Sam Harris. They both say it’s not only ok but morally correct.

    • Mister44 says:

      re: “No, not the ones that were released, the ones the CIA destroyed…”

      Jesus Christ, you must buy your tin foil by the pallet load.

      • ThinkCritically says:

        > re: “No, not the ones that were released, the ones the CIA >destroyed…”
        > Jesus Christ, you must buy your tin foil by the pallet load.
        Wow, that’s a fairly personal attack for a dissenting opinion. This seems all too common for BB posts that with political content.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Jesus Christ, you must buy your tin foil by the pallet load.

        Or, she actually reads the news. The destroyed tapes were big headlines.

        Your noise/signal ratio is chronically unfavorable. You might want to consider increasing input to match or exceed output.

    • Gulliver says:

      America has done the exact same thing. Remember those pictures and videos taken at Guantanamo? No, not the ones that were released, the ones the CIA destroyed. Those showed children being raped and murdered in front of their mother, either by Americans or by our friends. Your Senator saw them.

      You have proof of this? Because a lot of wack shit went down at Gitmo and cheapening the real shit by making shit up is an insult to what people really went through. But I assume you wouldn’t use human beings as pawns like that, so I solemnly await your proof.

      • noen says:

        Gulliver:
        “You have proof of this?”

        The “pics or it didn’t happen” meme must die. It is possible to reach a conclusion based on reasonable likely hood without direct evidence. The DVD (or however it was stored) did exist. It’s contents were suppressed because it showed people being tortured in front of CIA witnesses. The US has tortured. The US has renditioned people to black sites on foreign soil where they were tortured.

        Including Syria.

        If you give someone in your custody over to someone else who you have reason to believe will torture them *you* are just as guilty as they are.

        In Nicaragua the US taught, funded and observed death squads operating in our name. Those squads would take a child, a baby, hold it by it’s ankles, get a nice swing and smash it’s head on a flat rock. If you teach, fund and oversee people committing such crimes then *you* are guilty also. Evidence showing US involvement and White House complicity in Latin America was smuggled out of his office by Oliver North.

        There were roving death squads in Iraq. Coalition forces were caught red handed with explosives in their car and masks to hide their identity. There are/were photos of masked Iraqi death squad members. They were white.

        • Gulliver says:

          It is possible to reach a conclusion based on reasonable likely hood without direct evidence.

          You made a very specific accusation. To wit:

          Those showed children being raped and murdered in front of their mother, either by Americans or by our friends. Your Senator saw them.

          My question was how you reached that detailed conclusion. Because if you pulled it out of your…hat, then you’re effectively and publically saying, to all the victims of things that actually happened, that your imagination is of equal validity to their suffering. If someone makes up a story about a person being raped and tries to pass it off as true, setting aside for the moment the ethics of lying, imagine how that comes across to real rape victims.

          The US has tortured. The US has renditioned people to black sites on foreign soil where they were tortured.

          Indeed. But that’s not what you said.

          • Anonymous says:

            Seymour Hersh took testimony from an Abu Ghraib internee who said that American interrogators sodomized a child in front of his mother (while a woman soldier took pictures) in order to get the mother to reveal the whereabouts of the (suspected terrorist) father.

            It’s important to realize that there were many persistent rumors in the Arab world about what was going on in Abu Ghraib, which were dismissed by torture apologists, and many of these rumors were subsequently shown to be true by photographs. Since we know for a fact that there were “worse” photos that will never be released other than to select senators (Rumsfeld stated this on TV, I saw it), it’s not unreasonable to suppose that these Arab rumors are close to the truth. Psychological studies of prison and wartime stresses, and an examination of the known conditions at Abu Ghraib and Bagram, would tend to support such a conclusion. Go read the Stanford Prison Experiment.

            The truth, though, may actually be worse. We know for a fact – it’s in the Pentagon’s Bagram report – that US uniformed soldiers tortured an innocent man to death because they found it hysterically amusing that he would scream to his “heathen” god whenever they beat his legs while he hung from the bars of his cage. It was a running joke to the soldiers, you’d stop by and do it while you were getting coffee for the squad.

            Once a soldier has crossed the line of hunting unarmed civilians for sport (videos available since 2005) and torturing people to death for fun (Bagram as early as 2002) do you think that raping children (probably teenagers, no younger than the prostitutes readily available to soldiers) would be too far to go? It’s far more likely that Rumsfeld’s infamous CD of pictures that “will never be released” contains sadism that only starts with rape.

            If you choose not to believe the Arab witnesses, that’s your choice. But claiming someone who does believe the witnesses is somehow harming hypothetical “real” sufferers is utter bullshit. How dare you presume to judge this?

          • Gulliver says:

            @ Anon #58

            Go read the Stanford Prison Experiment.

            I quote familiar with it and its various imitators. It disgusted me in high school and it still disgusts me.

            If you choose not to believe the Arab witnesses, that’s your choice.

            I’m skeptical of both the witnesses and the “torture apologists” as you put it; both are biased for good reason. Do you believe that being skeptical of the honesty of one side in an argument requires not being skeptical of the other? If so, why?

            But claiming someone who does believe the witnesses is somehow harming hypothetical “real” sufferers is utter bullshit. How dare you presume to judge this?

            I didn’t. I asked from where the accusation was coming and added that I was curious in part because if it was an assumption then it does denigrate “real” torture victims such as the boy the Syrian police sadistically slaughtered. I also gave neon the benefit of the doubt. neon replied without mentioning the account you referenced, and yet I still said neon was only denigrating real torture and rape victims if if it was made up.

            Do you believe fabricating atrocities does not insult and/or denigrate actual victims? If so, why?

            Do you believe someone should accept accusations of atrocities without even asking where the accuser derived their information? If so, why?

            Despite your ostensible ire toward me and my inquisitiveness in the last paragraph of your reply, I do in fact appreciate the information you proffered.

  7. ryxxui says:

    I just don’t know how long we’re all gonna last as long as terrible people are allowed to do really terrible things to people for no good god damn reason at all.

    • EH says:

      How long we’re all gonna last? This kind of behavior marks human history as reliably as breathing, it’s just not disgusting enough to enough people, and probably never will be.

    • Jake0748 says:

      Agreed. What else is left but to scrape the fuzz of “humanity” off the face of the earth, and try all over again. I can’t feel much besides despair at this episode.

      FTW

    • Ultra Fem says:

      Here, here.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean like most world governments? The only difference is who gets caught and who can hide it.

    • Anonymous says:

      ryxxui, as distressing as this reply may be, the answer is that we will last as long as we can. The torture of this boy is hardly a new invention. Humans can be vile, murderous and out and out evil. We can also be wise, caring and amazingly loving. Should we struggle to stop this kind of cruel behavior? Of course. but do not labor under the illusion that this is anything other than what it is: an example of some of the kind of behavior humans engage in.

  8. Nicky G says:

    Of course this is sick, sick, sick. Demonic, evil, throw whatever words at it you want, they won’t be nearly harsh enough.

    But what do we do?

    1) We can start bombing the shit out of Syria, possibly trigger a much wider Middle East war. It strikes me that bombing Syria would freak out other Middle Eastern countries much more than the action against Libya, thus could have much wider destabilizing effects.

    2) We can have a “secret war” with Syria — probably this is already happening via CIA, etc.

    3) We can apply “diplomatic pressure” — again, we’re already doing this, lot of good it’s doing.

    4) We can ask the tyrannical evil dictator to please stop — yeah, that’s going to amount to whole lot.

    5) We can sit back and do nothing.

    Out of the above options, which will likely be effective? Which will likely be supported by the people of foreign powers who have the ability to actually do anything of significance?

    We say “this stuff is horrible” but then we also say that we don’t want to go to war against yet another country. IMNSHO, sitting back, holding hands, singing kumbaya and watching such videos on Youtube is NOT going to alter the situation. Asking nicely is not going to help. Intelligence agency secret actions is probably not going to have a huge effect. Even a “minimal” war effort a la Libya very likely won’t work. If we really want to prevent countless more examples of this from happening, we’re going to have to go to war. I just don’t see another option. It’s situations like this that have transformed me from the pacifist of my college years to the unfortunate realist of my adulthood.

    I’m not saying, I should add, that I think the “going to war” option is morally superior than sitting back and doing nothing. I’m not sure which is better/less evil. Obviously, going to war against anybody means that innocents will be killed in the process. Are those deaths morally less egregious because they occurred int he process of trying to stop evil, than the death of a child deliberately tortured and murdered by sick thugs of a fascist regime? I suppose people will argue that point from now ’til the end of time.

    • bklynchris says:

      Well, WE could, and this is coming from someone who has a well exercised apathy muscle and has drunk deeply from the cynic’s goblet of bitter bile,

      -support US backed sanctions
      -call for International sanctions
      -hope for UN intervention (I know, I know club house for back door dealings with the elite of questionable dealings, but hey)

      Anyway, sometimes we have to hope that awareness is at least the beginning of enough.

      God, I hate the internets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another option is to apply extraordinary, dramatic diplomatic pressure. Wouldn’t be nice to have a president whose hands are so unbloodied that he/she can get up in front of a world stage and, without a hint of hypocrisy, hold up pictures of both Hamza and his mutilated corpse and call Assad out personally?

    • Hools Verne says:

      We could stop giving any kind of “aide” whatsoever to Saudi Arabia unless they pull out their troops from Syria and condemn Assad. That won’t happen though.

    • Anonymous says:

      So is there such a thing as too much money, too many countries, or too many American deaths for you? Or does America just have to become a full-on empire?

      Experiments in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are interesting, with non-voting citizens, but they are isolated islands. Heck, there’s a significant undercurrent of resentment in Hawaii, and they *are* a full-fledged state.

      Your ‘answer’ won’t work either. Hools Verne’s idea is better, but I doubt it would help either.

      The Islamic world is reacting badly to the western world. They had greater civilisation earlier and longer than we have. We should leave well enough alone, as our intervention seems to always make it worse.

      Do you have an example of a benefit from Western intervention?

    • Anonymous says:

      “The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published. ”

      “Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

      The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil court case in the US.

      Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire, while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which were apparently photographed. ”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5395830/Abu-Ghraib-abuse-photos-show-rape.html

      “The (Senate) report concluded that Rumsfeld’s actions were “a direct cause of detainee abuse” at Guantanamo and “influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques … in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/12/11/us-usa-abuse-idUSTRE4BA7JV20081211

      “President Barack Obama has failed to renounce extraordinary rendition of terrorism suspects—and has yet to hold the Bush and his administration accountable for torturing prisoners.”

      http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/obamas-torture-scorecard/Content?oid=1300103

    • Noufal Ibrahim says:

      I assuming that by “Us”, you mean the US. Doesn’t the US history of interfering (for want of a better term) in the affairs of countries in the middle and far eastern regions make you sceptical of it’s ability to do good in these regions? That’s assuming that they want to do good which I think is questionable. It doesn’t make sense to me that a country like the US would invest so much money and resources into fighting a war purely for the betterment of a foreign people and “human rights”. I have faith in humanity but not much in large governments.

  9. Anonymous says:

    dont give up yet!!! (insert your fav ‘in this darkest of hour’ quotes here)

  10. ultranaut says:

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum

  11. Nadreck says:

    I guess this is why the Assad regime, and its Hezbollah militia, has been such a stalwart of the Anti-Zionist movement: because they’re so brimming with concern over Human Rights. That’s probably also why they’re burning some of their own cities down (again) right now.

    Please. The chopping off of little kid’s genitals for political purposes has been standard procedure in Syria for over a generation now. The only thing that’s new about this is that someone managed to get a video out. They’ll be defended (again) or attacked on these policies depending on how useful the resulting narrative is deemed to be in the observers’ local parochial politics.

  12. Radka says:

    This is heartbreaking. I am thankful that the family managed to get the video out. It’s sad to consider that the boy’s father’s fate is probably the same…
    It’s not everyday that the internet makes you cry but this definitely did the trick.

  13. Tau'ma says:

    While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the wisdom of God. God’s folly is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

    1 Corinthians Chapter 1 verses 22-25

    • dargaud says:

      What the fuck does that mean ? Can you you claim with a straight face that anyone can extract meaning from such garbled grammar ? No wonder there are 2^100 different interpretations of the bible.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The words that can describe how I feel do not exist…

  15. wylkyn says:

    All I can think about is how scared that boy must have been…how alone he must have felt.

  16. treepour says:

    I’m normally an opponent of the death penalty, but I certainly wouldn’t protest it if the people who did this were ever brought to justice and, well, put to death.

  17. adamnvillani says:

    Ugh. Man, I’m glad BoingBoing dropped the “Directory of Wonderful Things” slogan, because today in particular, we seem to be getting a full slate of really awful things, with this as the nadir.

    Not that I’m asking for you guys to do anything, just expressing an “ugh.”

    Unfortunately, horrible, evil, inhuman stuff like this has been part of human history throughout the ages. Thankfully now we can at least spread the word worldwide and there are political structures in place to at least condemn those who do these things and maybe work towards ending them. That work may be very slow, and the arrow of progress may not always go in the right direction, but it does give me hope to know that there are still plenty of good people in this world who will not accept this barbarity.

    I’m not a pacifist, either, but the formula for going to war has to be more complex than “people are doing bad things, therefore we must make war against them.” That’s the kind of thinking George W. Bush had when he invaded Iraq, and it’s based on an unfettered confidence in the ability of a war to do what you intend for it to do without significant negative consequences. Going to war for “good reasons” is no guarantee that you’ll get a good result.

  18. Anonymous says:

    horrific!! Words cannot express the agony!
    But what more could u expect from a totalitarian arab regime
    that is inline with Hezbollah and all the Arab and non-Arab terrorist
    groups. Sick! Sick! Sick!
    Now would Dr. Bashar wish 2 c his own child in such a condition.
    And just imagine, he is suppozd to be a medical doctor, the BASTARD!!

  19. johan,karlskrona says:

    It’s the same Syrian goverment which the US goverment sent detainees to so they could get tortured. The same went on in Egypt.

  20. Jake0748 says:

    To all those responding with political arguments, and who’s worse than who stuff. Let me just expand on my original comment. Right now (and yeah, I’m a bit depressed), I’m just wishing for a giant, screaming comet to come and wipe humans off the face of the planet. We’ve screwed it up beyond repair as far as I can see.

    “…but do not labor under the illusion that this is anything other than what it is: an example of some of the kind of behavior humans engage in…”

    Enough is enough. Whatever it takes, it needs to stop.

    • zale x says:

      *sigh* I’ve felt that way since 9/11… no matter what the acts of grace, kindness and love that people are capable of it always seems that far more creativity and energy are put into acts of evil. Individuals may be wonderful, as a group, people suck.

  21. weeld says:

    What youtube did is disgusting!
    Not because I don’t happen to agree with the issue, I actually think it is very important to let the world know of Syrian atrocities, but rather because of the blatant political stance that Youtube is taking (even if it is on my side at the moment) and the propaganda machine that it makes itself to.

    For my very large discontent, Youtube is using a different policy, where it automatically deletes everything that is being flagged from one reson or another, thus (at least I think that is why, otherwise the reality is even more grim as Youtube then taking a lot of political stances) allowing organized groups making a lot of complaints and taking down any video they don’t like. Or alternatively just taking down any minority unpopular opinions by the general public (unorganized groups).

    This is a very objectionable policy by me and by everyone I know. This way, many political videos were unjustifiably removed (while videos of much worse nature but of the other side were unmovable), but at least there was some sort of equality, and all content abided the same rules.

    Now hovewer, Youtube have officially become a content provider, taking sides and responsibility for what it deletes and what it leaves.

    This, in my opinion, is a very bad thing. Political and opinion outlets are there in abundance (like this blog for instance), On TV, radio, and obviously the internet. What is missing is more or less objective platform which is accessible, easy and popular enough for delivering citizen journalism. Something without censorship. So, while Youtube did not really suited those requirements, it now did the only thing which could be worse.
    Taking a side!

    (Not to mention leaving an almost snuff film)

    • noen says:

      weeld:
      but rather because of the blatant political stance that Youtube is taking (even if it is on my side at the moment) and the propaganda machine that it makes itself to.

      There is nothing wrong with propaganda. Propaganda is *anything* that helps or harms a person, group, movement, institution or nation. The truth is propaganda, so are lies and half-truths.

      “because of the blatant political stance”

      There is a difference between politics and Politics. Politics small p simply names “the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society” with respect to power. Unless you live alone on a desert island you are political. If you talk to a group of friends over what movie to see congratulations, you’ve just engaged in politics. You also employed propaganda to manipulate others into agreeing with you: “Sally said it was a great movie, let’s go see it”.

      Politics are unavoidable in this life. Would have the same opinion about photos of Emmett Till?

      • weeld says:

        “Truth”, sometimes can be elusively illusive…

        ~~~There is nothing wrong with propaganda. Propaganda is *anything* that helps or harms a person, group, movement, institution or nation. The truth is propaganda, so are lies and half-truths. ~~~

        What I meant was that from being a professional consensual tool, YouTube, for better and for worse, has positioned itself now at the same level as Glenn Becks personal blog. It may not be always bad, but it sure is hypocritical in publishing talkbacks…
        Sites of that kind are of a much lower rank, even if they host videos.

        ~~~There is a difference between politics and Politics. Politics small p simply names “the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society” with respect to power. Unless you live alone on a desert island you are political. If you talk to a group of friends over what movie to see congratulations, you’ve just engaged in politics. You also employed propaganda to manipulate others into agreeing with you: “Sally said it was a great movie, let’s go see it”.

        Politics are unavoidable in this life. Would have the same opinion about photos of Emmett Till?~~~

        I agree there is a difference between politics and Politics, although by your definition it seems like Emmett Till belongs to the lower case category….
        What you meant however (so I assume), is that the difference between the two is their (subjective) importance and the impact on ones life.
        I agree with you completely!
        Personally I’m against censorship at all, but when you break your rules to fit for your agenda- you are now part of the game.
        When you delete pixelated images from a military aircraft camera showing certain occurrences, for being `too offensive`, or a footage of an adulteress woman being prepared for stoning by her neighbors, (shot with a very bad quality cellphone camera) … Or even the channel of an organization which records broadcastings from certain countries, translates it, and then exposes the corruption and double facetness of what is going on there…
        If you do all that (and much much much more), while all the sudden deciding to put a snuff film, more obscene than even the usual 4chan material, for public viewing (something that even I, as an avid fighter against censorship had a small pinch and voice muttering at the back of my head saying that perhaps it is one of the *very few* images that maybe should have an 18+ label on them), because “it is important”- then like Glen Beck you are now a part of it, and you are saying that none of the matters above are significant.

        Btw, I just want to mention that everything has several sides.
        What to you and me are signs of a horrible oppression, to many (perhaps even the majority) of Syrians it may look just as a possible repercussion of a criminal act…
        In fact, a Syrian agent can shoot a body of an executed inmate from an American prison and ramble about the barbarism and murder of citizens by the regime etc… (Which incidentally is something I agree with).
        So yeah, I know I’m right- but I know others might think they are right. YouTube broke its own rules and chose a side.

        P.S My opinion on Emmitt Till is the same. It is extremely important to let the public know of such viciousness, and that is exactly what the media is suppose to do. Albeit I’m sure that FOX will obviously report differently than CNN, and focus on different aspects based on the agenda they’re promoting, but that is the media game and everyone chooses their information hub. YouTube was supposed to be impartial and above it, since it has chose its agenda I now need to reassess whether its values are matching mine and should I continue using such a hub.

  22. luisella says:

    We have long been in need for an alternative to the “family-friendly” youtube. As the global revolution mounts in Arab countries, Spain and Wisconsin, we need even more a video site that only censors fascism, racism and their derivatives, and that doesn’t censors nipples, nudity and sex. “The first revolution to be done is the sexual one. The first and the most important.”

  23. ultranaut says:

    It needs to stop, but can it be stopped? If so, how?
    What can we do? Cry and curse. Spend money. Write sternly worded letters.

    • Jake0748 says:

      Obviously nothing. Crying, cursing, money, and even strongly worded letters do nothing.

      One just goes on with one’s life, a little harder-edged and a little more cynical than the day before.

      To quote Frank Barone, “C’mon comet”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why “obviously nothing”?

        Try supporting a human rights organization. Sure your “little” contribution won’t make a difference but add them up and it will.
        Or sit back and know that you did nothing…

  24. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe nor imagine that any self-respecting human being could do anything like this… to a child, no less.
    Not only to rob a person of his life, but to end it with such malicious savagery and suffering. It’s incomprehensible.

    This kind of situation is entirely too deplorable and contemptible, and it boils the blood to think that people are allowed to get away with acts like this.

    I can only hold on to the hope and belief that these people will one day be subjected to the same kind of “justice” they visited upon others.

    I pray for this boy’s family and for others who have faced or are facing similar situations.

  25. Tau'ma says:

    Her dear friend Annabel spoke these words when we buried my girlfriend’s ashes next to her father’s.

    And now I am going to put before you the best way of all. Though I command languages both human and angelic — if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains — if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned — if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.

  26. hobomike says:

    Smart friends of boingboing, I really don’t want to watch this video…please, somebody tell me why did they torture a 13 year old? What the hell did they hope to achieve?

    • TooGoodToCheck says:

      What the hell did they hope to achieve?

      I imagine they hoped to scare the living shit out of anyone who gave any thought to protesting. Once a government has given up on ruling by consent, they stay in power by ensuring that the alternatives are worse.

      In this case, they’re creating a scenario where anyone who is considering protesting against the government will face the possibility that the government will respond by torture-murdering the protesters or their children.

  27. Wickedashtray says:

    God I hate these people. Why are we in the Middle East at all? The last thing these people want is so called “freedom”. All they understand is violent, mindless reactionary violence. Let them have at it and tell Israel to either move or fend for itself. Enough.

  28. arikol says:

    Wickedashtray
    And I guess you and your people don’t want freedom either? Seeing as how you allow your troops to conduct horrible torture in secret prisons. How you allow them to disappear people into those secret prisons without any law or judgment?

    No, seriously. The people there are people just like you. They wake up in the morning, go take a pee, go eat breakfast, and go to work to try to support their families.
    There are whackjobs who try to get into positions of power because they like power and control (not for the god of the people). Some of those are also violent, or see violence as a means to an end.

    Those people want freedom just as much as you do. The difference seems to be that they are aware of the horrible things their government and “security” forces are doing.

  29. alllie says:

    They left out the incident where government thugs sodomized a guy with a broken broomstick, tearing a one-inch hole in his rectum and bladder. We should bomb THOSE people too! Right.

    Oh, forgot. That was in New York City. But they should be bombed anyway cause whenever government employees break the law the entire government is responsible and the entire government should be punished. Right? Right?

    • Walt says:

      I don’t know squat about Syria, to be honest.

      But my hope is that there is a difference. It sounds as if the Syrian situation is endorsed, and perhaps perpetrated by their government, whereas in the NYC case, those involved were ultimately prosecuted and convicted by the government.

      To the greater issue – one of treating people with basic respect and not doing shit like this – I don’t know what can be done. When government sponsored, the citizens of that nation must stop it. When done by criminals, they must force their government to take action, and if the government is unable or unwilling to do so, they must find a way to stop it themselves.

      I don’t honestly know how to accomplish that.

      But rather than talk of wiping humanity off the earth we should instead talk about how we can help humanity to grow up, to truly respect and care for and love one another.

      I am both proud and embarassed to be a citizen of the US. I do not believe the ends justify the means. I would rather have had dozens more terrorist incidents than have our government – supposedly founded on some very important principles – do what they have done over the last decade in the name of security.

    • Anonymous says:

      Arab detainees at Bagram and Abu Ghraib have testified to frequent “painful and humiliating rectal exams” during solitary confinement. The Pentagon reports do not contain details of why or how this was performed, they just confirm that it did.

      ”In Abu Ghraib and Bagram they were tortured to make them suffer, not to get information out of them… They tortured them and didn’t ask them anything.” — Damien M. Corsetti, US Army torturer, honorably discharged.

      And that’s why these people tortured this poor child. Not as a warning, not as a source of information, they did it because they found deep joy in seeing that look on his screaming face. That’s why the New York cops did it, that’s why the Camp Hill prison guards did it, that’s why Catholic priests and private school principals do it, that’s why people choose to enter such professions, it’s so they can inflict suffering on other human beings.

      The stupid idea that all humans are basically nice is the great weakness of modern liberalism; all around us there are vicious, brutal sociopaths whose appetites are only contained by their cowardly fear of authority. When that kind of people are themselves placed in positions of authority… everyone suffers, but especially the young and the weak.

  30. Anonymous says:

    If any of that about American soldiers, under orders or not and anyone from the top to the bottom was involved in child rape for any reason should be held accountable by “WE THE PEOPLE” to the fullest extent of the law as we would any war criminals who would take part in this or order it. That would include Chaney, Bush, whoever, Rumsfield, I don’t care we can’t ignore this. I would like to know were the truth was found and even though I pray it is not the truth, if it is indeed the truth.

  31. chgoliz says:

    There is a glimmer of hope: we now have the power to expose such atrocities in a way that was never before possible. Hence, the reason the family took the risk of filming and releasing the video to document what happened to their 13 year old child.

    Remember Tiananmen Square and the use of fax machines to get the message out?

    Sunlight is the best antiseptic.

    • Kimmo says:

      There is a glimmer of hope: we now have the power to expose such atrocities in a way that was never before possible. Hence, the reason the family took the risk of filming and releasing the video to document what happened to their 13 year old child.

      Remember Tiananmen Square and the use of fax machines to get the message out?

      Sunlight is the best antiseptic.

      1. So global opinion is mobilised, which is a step forward.

      2. ???

      3. Profit!

      Unfortunately there’s something of a disconnect between the will of the people and collective action in even so-called ‘free’ countries… let alone how much less effective it is across borders.

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