Give The Man His Poetry

My attention was first drawn to the plight of Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost by an article posted yesterday by Aine Macdermot here. In brief, this Afghani man was held in Guantanamo for three years as an “enemy combatant” before being sent before a military tribunal, whereupon he was released and sent home without so much as an “Oops! Sorry about that.” In the various articles online about his case, he actually seems pretty mellow about the whole thing…except that our military promised him he would be given back all the poetry he had written while being detained, and he never has. What follows is my letter to the Department of Defense and contacts at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Be assured that if I ever hear anything back, I will let you know. It has been said in the comment thread that follows the original article that this is a small thing, less important than securing the release of the rest of the prisoners held in Guantanamo. I certainly will not suggest that this is not true. However, sometimes small things are exemplary of the larger issues. In this case, the callous indifference of the military to this man’s work is indicative of our general disregard for the humanity of people we regard as “enemies”

If you are inclined to follow suit and send a letter of your own, they can be sent to:

[email protected] — Guantanamo — DOD

If you have any ideas for other folks to contact, please fee free to post them here.

To Whom It May Concern:

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Call For The Ban Of Girl Scout Cookies

Given the recent push for legislation to improve the health and morality of American citizens, I feel the time is ripe for me to bring up an issue with which I have been becoming increasingly concerned for quite some time. The War on Drugs has done some remarkable things for this country. Hell, if nothing else, think of the revenue it has brought in to our legal system! We may not actually have less people on drugs, but at least they’re more paranoid when they’re doing them. I think legislating to keep people from smoking, even in public, open spaces is a really positive step in assuring the rights of all Americans to have their lungs pink and healthy. Of course, in an open air environment they are more likely to contract skin cancer than they are to inhale enough secondhand tobacco smoke to cause them any physical harm, but if we don’t tell them that maybe they won’t notice. And I, for one, do not want my children exposed to the explicit phallic symbolism of a beautiful woman sucking on a coffin nail. Allowing the insurance companies leeway to impose more and stricter standards as to what they will pay for has certainly done a lot of good, since those who are now unable to afford to go to the doctor will certainly spend a little more time thinking about how they treat their bodies. And if we could just get abortion made illegal, that’ll keep people from having sex, thereby preventing the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, right? But none of this has gone far enough. None of it addresses the single, number one health care issue in our country: Girl Scout Cookies.

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