Skip to comments.Guantanamo lawyer says Gyllenhaal film rings true (“courageous Hollywood” exposes US torture)
Posted on 10/17/2007 11:30:47 AM PDT by dead
LONDON (Reuters) - Hollywood's latest take on kidnapping and torture in the war on terror is surprisingly bold and realistic but won't change people's views overnight, a prominent lawyer for Guantanamo Bay prisoners says.
"Rendition," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon, tells the story of an Egyptian man abducted by the United States as he steps off a flight in Washington.
He is sent to a North African state investigating a suicide bombing, and systematically tortured under the eyes of a CIA agent, played by Gyllenhaal.
"I thought it was surprisingly courageous for Hollywood and it will be seen by millions. Now, will we persuade the world in a moment? No, of course," lawyer Clive Stafford Smith said at a preview showing in London ahead of this week's release.
However, he said the media had a vital part to play in shaping public opinion on the issue, and obtaining justice for more than 300 prisoners still held as terrorist suspects at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"Not one single person has been ordered free by the court of law. The court of public opinion, on the other hand, has been quite successful," said the British lawyer, whose charity Reprieve represents more than 40 Guantanamo inmates.
"We've freed more than half of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay ... We (lawyers) legally expose the truth. You (journalists) follow up on it. That's really important."
FACT AND FICTION
Although "Rendition" is a fictional tale, Stafford Smith said the scenario and many of the details were authentic.
He knew, for example, of two Syrian men whose names had been deleted from passenger records in the same way that Anwar El-Ibrahimi, the central character in the film, is erased from the flight list of the plane that brought him to Washington.
Stafford Smith said he had also seen at first hand how even close family members can begin to wonder if a detainee really has militant links -- a form of doubt that briefly troubles Ibrahimi's American wife, played by Witherspoon, in the movie.
The story has strong echoes of real cases such as that of Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian who was arrested during a stopover in New York in 2002, deported to Syria and tortured.
The United States acknowledges it has conducted renditions -- secret international transfers of terrorist suspects -- and held detainees at secret prisons, but it denies torturing them or handing them to countries that torture.
It says intelligence gained from interrogating such prisoners has helped save many lives by thwarting international terrorist plots -- a point made in the movie by a senior CIA official played by Meryl Streep.
The film strives for balance by showing the militant Islamist threat as real, and posing the question whether one person's rights can take precedence over the security of thousands.
Stafford Smith said the reality for a victim of rendition is bleak: "He'll spend the rest of his life in therapy, and he'll have nightmares every night for the rest of his life."
"He'll spend the rest of his life in therapy, and he'll have nightmares every night for the rest of his life."
At least he will if his lawyer is worth his salt.
Reuters just keeps churning out real quality news items.
Hollywood is so brave that they smear the men who keep them safe, would never hurt them, and would not want to hurt them?
They really fear the headchoppers, and rightly so.
fake but accurate...
How wonderful, representing murderous religious psychotics who will slit your throat to celebrate Friday prayer...... More proof that liberalism is a mental disease....
Persuade the world that we are torturers?
Its a done deal. It was never in question.
PLEASE. It's so courageous to make an anti-Bush film. *eyeroll*
...Gillars usually introduced herself as "Midge at the mike," but American troops nicknamed her "Axis Sally."
Gillars made her most infamous broadcast on May 11, 1944, prior to the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. It was a play called "Vision of Invasion," in which Gillars played an American mother who dreamed that her son had died a horrific death in the English Channel. An announcer intoned, "The D of D-Day stands for doom...disaster...death...defeat...Dunkerque or Dieppe." It was intended as a highly exaggerated warning to any soliders who dared come ashore that day.
Gillars' last broadcast was on May 6, 1945, just two days before the German surrender. After the war, Gillars blended into the large number of displaced persons in Allied-occupied Germany. She was captured and eventually flown back to the United States in 1948. She was charged with 10 counts of treason, although she was actually only tried for eight.
Prosecutors called Gillars' broadcasts subtle attempts to break down the morale of American soldiers. They introduced evidence that Gillars had signed an oath of allegiance to Hitler. They also claimed that she posed as a worker for the International Red Cross in order to record messages from American soldiers that could be converted into propaganda.
Gillars' defense attorneys argued that her broadcasts stated an unpopular opinion but did not rise to the level of treason. They also said that she was under the sway of her former romantic interest, Max Otto Koischwitz, a German national whom she had met at Hunter College in New York City.
The sensational, six-week trial ended on March 8, 1949. After long deliberations, the jury convicted Gillars on only one count of treason--for making the "Vision of Invasion" broadcast.
dead, this guy is a fagola. Has to be, I didn't see Brokeback Mtn but he was the lead faggot.
Is it still OK to state faggot? If so, faggot me back.
Another fake, but true, approach to news.
He is . . . systematically tortured under the eyes of a CIA agent, played by Gyllenhaal.
“I thought it was surprisingly courageous for Hollywood . . . “
That’s the best laugh I’ve had since seeing Beelzebubba in an SEC `public service blurb’ during half-time of the Auburn-K-state game, lecturing on “Character”!
Bzzzz! Wrong answer. The media's job is not to shape public opinion, it is to report the news - period. Shaping opinion = propaganda.
And so begins the Fall of the Hollywood Traitor Movies.