Who Grieves For Dilawar

Who Grieves For Dilawar
(written in 2008)


     “The President has the constitutional authority to temporarily suspend our treaty obligations to Afghanistan under the Geneva Convention…”

     “While it is conceivable that some might argue these facilities are not fully in keeping with the terms of Geneva III, \ we understand that they meet minimal humanitarian requirements consistant with the need to prevent for force protection…”
Alberto Gonzales   January, 2002 – (Rationalizing the Geneva 111 Conventions torture rule)



Who grieves for Dilawar,
living a hard life in Afghanistan
22 years young
farmer and part-time taxi driver
trying to earn a good living out of working bad land
he was middle-aged in a country where most don’t make it to 50

Dilawar picked up three passengers December 5, 2002
unknowing that their final destination
was a fate not worth the fare

U.S. soldiers stopped the cab
took the 4 passengers to Bagram
the ‘pilot program’ before Abu Ghraib

Called “enemy combatants” and labeled
“al qaeda”
it was hard for the new USA soldiers and reservists
to tell one bad guy from another –
were these the men who might have planned to attack to a US military base?
The natives all looked menacing especially when detained

They separated Dilawar from the others –
Dilawar was a little guy his brother said
and he was scared
he screamed when they kicked and beat him –
your “non-compilant” our military screamed back
and for 5 more days
28 soldiers abused him
at night he slept chained from the ceiling
his chained salvation from brutality

Pfc. Willie Brand struck him at least 37 times
four interrogators gave “kicks to the groin and legs”
his captors forcing Dilawar “into contorted body positions”
they opened his mouth and “forced water till he could not breathe”

By the morning of the 5th day, his body gave out
he died still chained to the ceiling
“natural causes” the military noted
except for a description by one coroner,
Lt. Colonel Elizabeth Rouse stated,
“I have seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus,”
“Pulpified’ — she described of Dilawars legs.

The other three cab passengers were sent on to Gitmo
freed in 2004 – “no threat” they were labeled
they were lucky   –  Not Dilawar,
he was not guilty, but “used to hone military technique”,
one US soldier testified,
“ Most of us were convinced the detainee was innocent”

But they still kept beating the shit out of him anyway
and pulpifying
until his heart failed.
“due to blunt force injuries to the lower extremeities”

The Army kept it classified
until Human Rights Watch examined it
many months later,
one of the militia commanders who stopped the cab
was himself blamed for the military base attack
eager to divert the blame
Dilawar was a scape goat, innocent until proven guilty
and the military would see to it he was proven guilty
Dilawar’s words of protest meant shit

And apparently neither did the words of those who truly thought him innocent,
“natural causes” by the US military is status quo for some detainees
they have been told by the DOD
the President okays torture – wants to use it as long as he can
these native people are “non-state actors” according to the Attorney General Gonzalez,
unworthy of human status

Regardless of being an Afghani farmer or cab driver
a son or father
these mid-eastern men are lumped as “unlawful combatants”
Our U.S. distortion of law gives the right to ‘render’
to the point of ‘pulverization’
any confession adds fuel to the fire
and all will be kept classified – redacted when necessary

John McCain, POW for many years has told us
after being tortured you will confess to anything
especially like Dilawar, you sleep suspended
in a place that must look and smell like something penned by Upton Sinclair,
Dilawar, limp, pulverized, hooked from the ceiling,
bloody, disoriented, looking up at night praying to Allah  to please take him to heaven

In 2003 the Military moved The Bagram Operations officer
and several interrogators to Abu Ghraib
the US Commander in charge in Afghanistan, McNeil
claimed “no indication” Dilawar had been harmed,
he said the cabbie was given proper medical care
McNeil would not admit to anything even after a coroners report stated
“homicide” as the cause two months prior to McNeils words

Who killed Dilawar
who took his innocent life
28 soldiers
4 interrogators
al Qaeda
and an exuberant cast of neo-cons and legalese with the President’s blessing

This perverted excitement for war and revenge,
the Bush, Gonzalez, Karzai doctrine for amnesty from torture
defies what is humanity and the maturity to define the difference

The lawyer for the only soldier brought on charges said,
“he, (the soldier) was acting consistently by operating procedures.”
(whose ?)

The New York Times asked of the Military,
why did they lie?
Why were the reports of many deaths at Bagram kept secret?
2000 pages of criminal investigation later
finds many like Dilawar were tortured
out of fear
and a lot of sadism with  soldiers eagerly placating
their superiors

The Military wanted the case closed,
Army Criminal Investigation unit did not –
almost 4 years later
Pfc. Brand was the only one brought to justice-
The military has a veiled policy for their own criminals
“it’s war” –

One can see that “evil doers” work on both sides of war –
USA torturers versus suicide bombers
the President, Vice-President, their appointed lawyers and cronies
want information anyway they can ’squeeze’ it out of the ‘terrorists’
fear is what congeals the GOP voting base
fear is what gives any President the power to breakdown our rights
defined by the Constitution
(and then there is Oil and Halliburton and personal profits to be made)

Media and groups like The Red Cross and Human Right Watch
are arbiters
as we occupy a stone age country using technical words to describe human beings
and demand revenge for what 19 men mostly from Saudi Arabia did on American soil

Our Justice system has wrapped itself in distorted legalese —
Have we not learned, ‘ you get what you give’?

Who grieves for Dilawar
and others used as token methods of perfecting torture?
What has it gotten us –
an un-ending war – continuing death
and many recruits for the terrorists who have new reasons
to hate us for invading their territory on false pretense of
handpicked from faked intel by our Vice President to sway the course.

It’s a look into  black hearts of a self-righteous, egotistical men who parade
inside a head full of “red white and blue”,
a neo-cons wet dream of profit and patriotism
(and in Bush’s mind a Crusade of sorts after speaking to God.)
without any real thought of consequence nor conscience-

Torture creates its’ own vortex
one day we will see what was done by this administration
one day the violations will be shown in black and white
and yet, those who made these orders to torture
will never be held accountable,
never spend a day feeling guilty
never regret the thousands of lives they tore apart
never regret rationalizing war
never regret torture
never grieve for all the Dilawars needed to master their craft…








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s