I am not going to lie and say I am completely against the tactics used on prisoners at Abu Ghraib, but when similar abuse is suffered by Americans not suspected of, well, anything really, there is a problem.
We are human and we do make mistakes, but there are certain situations in which mistakes are unacceptable. For example, a surgeon needs to be on point at all times. So do members of law enforcement.
After a huge faux pas by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, 23-year-old Daniel Chong might be scarred for life.
As bad as Florida prisons are, I doubt any prisoner has encountered the same situation as Daniel Chong. After being taken in by DEA agents following a 4/20 raid, the University of California at San Diego student was questioned and then released. Or he was supposed to be released.
Instead, he was placed in a five-by-ten cell and forgotten for five days -- no food, no water, no toilet.
On the third day, Chong began to hallucinate. Apparently he tried to eat anything he could find in the cell. The young man drank his own urine to survive -- and also ended up eating glass and ingesting crystal meth, which had been accidentally left in the cell.
How methamphetamines could have been inadvertently left in a jail cell is another mystery on its own.
According to Chong, he screamed and kicked at the cell door, but no one came to his aid. Using his teeth, he shattered the lenses of his eyeglasses and tried to use the shards of glass to kill himself, carving "Sorry mom" on his wrist. Glass was later found in his throat, leading him to believe he had also tried to eat the glass.
After five nightmarish days, he was finally "found" -- 15 pounds lighter and incoherent. He was taken to the hospital and immediately placed in intensive care and also treated for near kidney failure.
The incident resulted in Chong, an engineering major, missing his midterm exams, but he is not sure he will even return to school because his outlook on life has been altered by the experience.
The DEA footed the hospital bill but has not yet issued an apology. Chong has sought the services of an attorney and will file a claim in federal court today.
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