Meet Mr. Purna Raj Bajracharya from Nepal.
Mr. Purna Raj Bajracharya is a Buddhist. We know that Buddhists are normally harmless, but not Mr. Bajracharya. Mr. Bajracharya was spotted in New York video-taping offices in which some FBI agents, under the every-watchful scrutiny of the relentless John Ashcroft, were determinedly rooting out every last vestige of terror activity in the U.S. Mr. Bajracharya claimed he was a tourist.
The other images on his video included a pizzeria.
The FBI immediately snatched up Mr. Bajracharya and locked him in a 9 foot by 6 foot cell for three months. The lights were kept on 24 hours a day. Why? Because we are sonsofbitches is the only possible explanation. Some prisoners in this detention centre in Brooklyn were stripped and beaten. Why? Because we are sonsofbitches.
And then. And then they realized that perhaps Mr. Bajracharya was a Buddhist from Nepal taking video of New York to show to his esteemed family back home.
So they put him into an orange jumpsuit, shackled his arms and legs, and hauled him off to the airport. Mr. Bajracharya begged to be allowed the dignity of wearing his own clothes. The FBI said no. Why? Because we are sonsofbitches– that’s why.
This is how we treat the innocent. Even the FBI admits that Mr. Bajracharya is innocent. It doesn’t matter. Under George Bush, the unthinkable is now not only acceptable, but required: the innocent can be locked up, abused, assaulted, and humiliated with complete impunity.
You don’t care, do you. Because you are white and middle class and you don’t have an accent. You are safe in America in 2004. Because you are not Mr. Bajracharya. Because you can sing your anthems, wave your flags, and march in your parades, with no shame for your government’s rank hypocrisy.
I am enraged at this treatment of an innocent man. The FBI agents responsible should be fired and charged with abusing their authority and jailed for at least 90 days in a 6 by 9 foot cell.
The FBI’s behavior is not merely outrageous. It deserves the term “fucking outrageous” because it is. It is emblematic of the monstrous failure of the current government to uphold the basic principles of decency and justice that make the world livable for most of us.
It’s hard to bring myself to even address the issue because it is so overwhelmingly obvious to me that you would think that any sane person would agree: if the FBI really insists on arresting people without the slightest grounds for suspicion, could they not at least treat them well until they have completed their investigations?
This treatment of Mr. Bajracharya is police brutality. It is abuse. It is oppression. It is the act of a police state. It is the ultimate expression of George W. Bush’s vision of Amerika. And I have yet to hear or read of a single Christian Bush supporter who feels that it is wrong or immoral to do it.
Added June 2006: where is the outcry from those who claim that the “Christian” Mr. Bush has “restored” ethics and integrity to government? How dare you claim you vote for Bush because he stands for Christian values, and then turn your back on Mr. Bajracharya?