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Friday, October 06, 2006

The Witch Trials Of The Past And Today

Compared to this place, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are summer resorts. And the zealots who created it would make the Taliban seem like Unitarians.

Its prisoners were kept in total darkness, an absence of hope as well as light. The floor was made of rough stone blocks, and sometimes water from a nearby river would slosh into the underground dungeon, where it would remain - ankle deep - for weeks. There was no heat, and several prisoners froze to death during one terrible winter.

George Corwin, the high sheriff of Essex County, Mass., in 1692, never heard of the Geneva Conventions. If you were in his custody and wanted a bed, a chamber pot or food, you had to pay for them. Visitors cost extra. Those unfortunate enough to be indigent were confined to “coffin cells,” roughly six feet high and five feet across, too cramped to allow the prisoner to lie down or even sit. Full Story

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