Winner of the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, ‘Taxi to the dark side’ portrays a disturbing; in depth look of highly questionable interrogation practices used by US military guards on prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq & Guantanamo Bay in the aftermath of 9/11.
Produced, Directed, Written & Narrated by Alex Gibney, the film begins with the tale of young innocent Dilawar who was working as a taxi driver in Afghanistan. After the Special Forces suspected him as Taliban in Bagram, he was interrogated by US soldiers in the most inhuman ways & died within next 5 days. The movie raised a pertinent question of military torture on innocent civilians who have nothing to do with Al Qaeda sponsor global terrorism. With shocking photos, footage, expert commentary & interviews with several soldiers stationed at prisons in Afghanistan & Iraq the documentary also shows that how certain bad apples of US military clearly violated the humanitarian rules outlined in Geneva conventions & treated these prisoners in the most savage ways using severe & cruel inhuman techniques such as sodomising, stripping humiliation, sleep deprivation, electrocute the testicles, ceiling handcuffing & many other atrocities in Bagram, Abu Ghraib prisons. It also shows clearly that how President Bush along with Rumsfeld & Cheney gave unwritten orders to use any means necessary. It’s hard to get evidences against the held detainees & so US forces used harsher & harsher techniques of torture to get their false confession to report their units & made their head held high in front of military. Some of them got medals for it also. It’s sad to know about the utter insanity made by US & allied arm forces backed up by US Government besides the reported fact that only 7 percentages of held detainees were found really guilty. What about their fundamental legal rights of liberty for these other 93 percent held innocent detainees who also became scapegoats & tortured incessantly in the cells.
As on September, 2006 the number of detainees reached 83,000 & out of them less than one percent are found guilty.
Watching this documentary raised certain pertinent questions like-
# Do we call it the loss of American ideals & standards in pursuit of national security? (It occurred in Vietnam & Iraq in the past & still they are pursuing the same blunder.)
# How long does the common civilians has to pay the price for living in the country where Al Qaeda & Taliban are operating?
# How valid is it to interrogate these prisoners debunking all legality & Geneva Convention & torture them in such a way that leads to organ failure or the death in certain cases?
# What about the dignity & morality of human life for an innocent person held as a suspected terrorist without any confirmation?
# How to remove this dark side from the minds of chaos stricken military?
“Torturing people is not the best way to get information. Breaking down the barriers between you & them, getting their confidence is the best way to get it”, admitted retired Judge Advocate General John Hutson. And that’s where I like to corroborate.