Tag Archives | Guantanamo Bay

Military Nurse Refused to Force-Feed Guantánamo Prisoners

Camp X-Ray, shown here under construction, is the temporary holding facility for detainees held at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Shane T. McCoy, USN, January 2002

Camp X-Ray, shown here under construction, is the temporary holding facility for detainees held at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Shane T. McCoy, USN, January 2002

A nurse refuses to partake in the force-feeding of Guantánamo prisoners.

Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

A nurse in the U.S. Navy has refused to participate in the force-feeding of hunger striking detainees in what is the first widely-reported act of defiance on ethical grounds by a U.S. military service member at this offshore prison.

“This is a historic stand by this nurse, who recognized the basic humanity of the detainees and the inhumanity of what he was being asked to do,” said Cori Crider, a lawyer for UK-based charity Reprieve—which refers to the refusal as ‘conscientious objection.’ Crider learned of the act of refusal in a July 10 phone call with Abu Wa’el Dhiab—a Syrian man currently detained in Guantánamo Bay—and the news broke to the media on Tuesday.

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Skinny Puppy’s Nivek Ogre on Gitmo Torture Music, Animal Terrorism and Performance Gore

Abby Martin features an exclusive interview with Nivek Ogre, lead singer of the industrial music group Skinny Puppy, discussing the band’s reaction to their music being used to torture Guantanamo detainees, as well as their motivation to be politically confrontational, their passion for animal rights, and the need to speak out in time of universal deceit.

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We Don’t Torture People

Psychologists for Social Responsibility is an independent, non-profit organization that applies psychological knowledge and expertise to promote peace, social justice, human rights, and sustainability. Members are psychologists, students, and other advocates for social change in the United States and around the world. Appalled by the torture program at Guantanamo Bay, they are appealing to other health care professionals to join them in signing a letter of protest addressed to President Obama (below).

One of the main signatories is Martha Davis, director of Doctors of the Dark Side, who has just released this video of actress Mercedes Ruehl and attorney Kristine Huskey in a reprise of ex-CIA Director George Tenet’s extraordinary argument about torture with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes:

Dear Colleagues,

Attached and pasted below is a letter to President Obama that is being sponsored by Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR).

Because the hunger strike at Guantanamo is a medical emergency, and the result of intolerable delays in closing the detention facility, health care professionals and human rights advocates bring a special voice to this crisis.

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The Most Popular Book At Guantanamo Bay

Fifty-Shades-of-GreyIf you guessed it was the Koran, you’re way off; it is in fact, wait for it, “Fifty Shades Of Grey“! From Reuters:

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” series of erotic novels are the favorite reading material among former CIA captives held at the Guantanamo detention camp, the Huffington Post quoted a U.S. congressman as saying.

Democratic Representative Jim Moran of Virginia was among congressional delegates who last week toured Camp 7, the top-security facility that holds more than a dozen “high-value” prisoners, including five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

“Rather than the Koran, the book that is requested most by the (detainees) is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ They’ve read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it,” the Huffington Post quoted Moran as saying on Monday.

“I guess there’s not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.”

Moran, who favors shutting down the detention camp on the Guantanamo Bay U.S.

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The Rapper Formerly Known As Mos Def Undergoes Force-Feeding In Protest Of Guantanamo

The pressure is being mounted on President Obama to take steps to end the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Wondering just how brutal force-feeding is? Yasiin Bey (better known as Mos Def) collaborated with the human rights organization Reprieve and filmmaker Asif Kapadia to document himself actually undergoing the procedure, in accordance with the standard operating guidelines found in leaked military documents. The resulting four-minute film is extremely disturbing:
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Guantanamo Bay Recommends Using Drug With Severe Neurological Effects On Detainees

Metoclopramide_ampuleAs if torturing the seemingly permanent detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were not bad enough, it has now been revealed by Al-Jazeera that an official manual recommends use of Reglan, a drug known to cause neurological disorders, to hunger striking detainees:

A new policy for force feeding hunger strikers at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay includes the recommended use of a controversial drug that may cause serious neurological disorders, including one that mimics Parkinson’s disease.

The UK-based human rights group, Reprieve, filed an incident report this week with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding an immediate investigation into the use of the brain-altering drug, and asking the agency “to take all possible measures to prevent further use of metoclopramide in force-feeding at Guantanamo”.

Al Jazeera first documented the use of metoclopramide last month in an exclusive report about the government’s revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to deal with a massive hunger strike entering its fifth month.

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The President’s Hunger Strike

Still from "Doctors of the Dark Side"

Still from “Doctors of the Dark Side”

With 100 detainees on hunger strike, some near organ failure or death, the President and media have renewed talk of closing Guantanamo.   This is not the first time detainees have struck to protest their abuse and indefinite detention.   Some, like Ahmed Zuhair (detained without charge 2002-2008), spent years on hunger strike.   In 2005 officials used force and isolation to break the solidarity of the hunger strikers.  Then and now, the reactions of Guantanamo officials have been predictable.   What is different today is the resolve of the hungers strikers and the greater number of Americans sadder and wiser about administration spin on who the detainees are, how they are being treated, and what they deserve.

You wouldn’t know from media coverage of the 2005 hunger strike that there was a crisis in Guantanamo.  Judging from official comments just a few “bad apples” were causing the trouble, and the Command had everything under humane control.… Read the rest

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Obama Calls For End To “Perpetual War On Terror”

perpetual war on terror

A welcome development? Via Yahoo! News, the president announces new guidelines which will reduce the use of drone strikes and once again pushes for the closure of Guantanamo Bay:

Twelve years after the “war on terror” began, President Barack Obama wants to pull the United States back from some of the most controversial aspects of its global fight against Islamist militants.

In a major policy speech on Thursday, Obama narrowed the scope of the targeted-killing drone campaign against al Qaeda and its allies and took steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba.

He acknowledged the past use of “torture” in U.S. interrogations; expressed remorse over civilian casualties from drone strikes; and said that the Guantanamo detention facility “has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.”

New U.S. drone rules are likely to reduce “signature” drone strikes, which target suspicious-looking groups.

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Obama on Medea: “The words of that woman are worth paying attention to”

11.20.CodePink.WDC.8mar03Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin’s heckling of President Obama during his speech at the National Defense University gains her more notoriety than ever before. From Reuters:

“You are our commander in chief. Close Guantanamo Bay!” Benjamin shouted toward the end of Obama’s address.

“Why don’t you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do?” Obama replied. “Let me finish my sentence.

He called on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers and went on to discuss other steps toward closing the prison. He said he was lifting a moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen.

“Release them today!” Benjamin shouted. “It’s been 11 years!”

“Let me finish,” Obama said. “This is part of free speech. You being able to speak, but also me listening, and me being able to speak.”

He was able to continue for a bit but then Benjamin demanded to know why a teenager had been killed by a U.S.

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