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No Comment readers recently saw my interview with Alex Gibney, the producer of “Taxi to the Dark Side.” Last night, Alex and his team got the best documentary Oscar. (Disclosure: I appear in “Taxi” and had many discussions with Alex and his crew about shaping it.) Here’s a wire report:
An investigation into the death later found Dilawar had been repeatedly kicked and punched and was chained to the ceiling of his cell for days. Gibney, who also produced hit documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”, said in his acceptance speech that his wife had wanted him to make a romantic comedy.
“But honestly after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition that simply wasn’t possible,” the film-maker said before dedicating the film to Dilawar, and his own father.
“This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver and my father a Navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury at what was being done to the rule of law,” said Gibney.
“Let’s hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and go back to the light,” he said.
Discovery originally took broadcast rights to the documentary, and then backed out, saying it was “too controversial.” Actually there is nothing “controversial” about the film. It is a compelling, honest account of something that the Bush Administration fervently hopes that Americans learn nothing. Discovery evidenced supreme cowardice. I was halfway expecting them to take a lambasting from the Oscar podium, but the “Taxi” team is far too classy for that.
The film rights were flipped to HBO. Let’s hope HBO gets it out and on the air quickly.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”