Saturday, September 03, 2011
Of course, Adama's father was deported. She was forced to wear the ankle bracelet for three years until she was granted asylum. On September 11, 2011, you won't hear anything about her, or anyone else victimized by those who exploited the deaths in the Twin Towers in furtherance of their gratification of their bigotry against Muslims. For these people, the attacks upon the Twin Towers were a joyous moment, because they were now free to physically and psychologically torture Muslims without fear of condemnation. 9/11 provided a justification for their immersion in their most extreme sadomasochistic desires associated with their simultaneous attraction and repulsion from the other as personified by Muslims and Islam. Such dehumanization has taken on the qualities of an erotic release, with Abu Ghraib being the most well known notorious instance.
Later I found out why they'd taken my dad. After I'd been reported as a suicide bomber, the FBI started investigating my whole family. That's how they found out about my dad being here without papers.
The FBI drove us to Pennsylvania, across state lines, without my parents' permission. We got to the juvenile detention centre late at night. The female guard told me and Tashnuba we had to get strip-searched.
I was in tears. My own mother doesn't look at me naked. I said, It must be against some law for you to do this to me.
The female guard said, It's not. You no longer have rights.
She said, Lift your breasts.
I lifted my breasts.
She said, Open your legs.
I opened my legs.
She said, Put your hands in there, to see there's nothing.
I said, There's nothing there!
She said, Just do it.
I did it.
She gave me a blue uniform and told me to take a shower in five minutes, and then she left. I sat at the corner of the shower and held myself and cried. I was thinking, I cannot believe what I just went through. When I got to the cell, I could see Tashnuba in the corner, praying. There was one blanket, and it was freezing cold. We stayed up the whole night talking about everything. I don't know how we fell asleep, but I remember at one point we were both crying.
Nobody told me what was going on. I wasn't brought before a judge until probably my fourth week there, and it was via video conference. An article came out in the New York Times about why Tashnuba and I were there, that we were suspected of being suicide bombers. I never saw the article while in prison. After that came out we got extra strip-searches, about three times a day, and the searches got stricter. They would tell us to spread our butt cheeks, and they made racist comments. If I talked back, I would be put into solitary confinement.
Those first three weeks, my family didn't have any idea where I was. They had to do research to find out, and hire a lawyer. The lawyer, Natasha, came to see me. She said, There's a rumour about you being a suicide bomber. I said, Are you serious? If you knew me, you would laugh and say, 'Hell, no.' She said, They're not charging you with anything except overstaying your visa.
My mom came to visit me. It was the worst visit ever because she didn't want to say anything. When I asked about my dad, she just said, He's fine. She knew he was being held in New Jersey.
After a while, my lawyer called. She said she had good news. I have a way to get you out of jail. You're going to have to wear an ankle bracelet.
I said, I'll wear anything.
But it wasn't limited to Iraq and Afghanistan, as Adama Bah's story demonstrates. One shudders at the thought of the pleasure that her guards may have experienced as they subjected her to strip searches. For them, it was a legally sanctioned form of child molestation, and one wonders if they volunteered for the duty. Or, perhaps, superiors parceled out the assignment as an incentive for performance. But, understandably, we won't hear much of this during the 9/11 celebrations.
Instead, we will probably will hear the President, or some other prominent dignitaries, praise the Department of Homeland Security for keeping us safe, which is a sort of code hinting at darker, more sinister things, because, as we all know from watching television and film crime dramas, the police cannot keep us safe without participating in the degradation of themselves and those they abuse. General McChrystal was alluding to this when he pondered the rings of sorrow, the emotional consequences experienced by US troops in the Middle East and Central Asia as they kill and torture. 9/11 should therefore be a day for introspection, a day for contemplating how to escape this cycle of irrational, eroticized violence, rather than reinforcing it through a continuing nationalistic expropriation of the lives of the victims.