Tag Archives | Guantanamo Bay

Would Andrew Adler Be in Guantanamo If He Were Muslim?

GuantanamoIt’s an important question. But you can be sure that not even Ron Paul, would mention this in a televised debate.  Still, it’d be interesting to see what sort of response Gingrich comes up with, given his recent financial commitments. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Assassinating US President Barack Obama for refusing to wage war on Iran is an opinion Andrew Adler wishes he never published. But that’s exactly what the owner of the Atlanta Jewish Times did on January 13 and now he’s facing vocal opposition and a Secret Service investigation.

”Give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice-president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies,” Adler wrote in a piece called ”What would you do?” Adler issued an apology, saying, ”I very much regret it.

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Lakhdar Boumediene’s Guantanamo Nightmare

lakhdarSomeone forward this to Obama? In the New York Times, a Bosnian citizen and former humanitarian aid worker discusses being tortured and imprisoned at Guantanamo for seven years as an innocent man without facing charges, before the Supreme Court ordered him freed:

Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone.

Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.

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Murat Kurnaz: Nightmare At Guantanamo

Russia Today speaks with Murat Kurnaz, a German man (of Turkish decent) whom the United States arrested and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for five years before releasing him without charge or explanation. Before arriving at Guantanamo, Kurnaz was shipped to Afghanistan, where, in an effort to make him sign a confession, he says he was given electrical shocks, water-boarded, hung from the ceiling in chains for days on end, kept naked in freezing cold, and saw many other prisoners tortured to death.

Kurnaz’s detainment occurred while he was visiting Pakistan with a pacifist anti-poverty organization. He suspects his name was randomly given to authorities by someone in order to receive the $3,000 reward for reporting terrorists. The whole ordeal recalls the Spanish Inquisition:

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The Art Of Guantanamo Bay Prisoners

Curious as to what sort of art one makes when experiencing sensory deprivation halfway around the world? Since the beginning of the Obama presidency, inmates at Guantanamo Bay have been given art classes as a reward for good behavior. The BBC has a sampling of their works, many of which touch on themes of isolation or fantasies of home:

Although the prisoners can’t see the sea from the jail — which is located just a few meters away from the coast — nor the Caribbean vegetation that surrounds Guantanamo, many of their works depict islands with palm trees. Others recall their villages or meals reminiscent of home.

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Did A Sex Tape Create an Al-Qaeda Spy?

Al-Qaeda Sex Tape?Adam Rawnsley asks on the always intriguing WIRED’s Danger Room:

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the spying book: Tempt a guy with sex; record him in a compromising position, and then blackmail him into working for you. According to a new file released by WikiLeaks, that’s exactly what happened to one inmate there. But be wary of this espionage tale. As with a lot of Gitmo detainee accounts, the detainee’s history of trying to please interrogators and his experience being tortured make it difficult to say for sure what really happened.

Abd Al Rahim Abdul Raza Janko told interrogators at Guantanamo Bay that his journey into an al-Qaida guest house began with blackmail while he was studying Islamic law and Arabic literature in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He claimed Prince Fisal Sudid Qasmi invited him to hang out with his college friends at a local hotel. When he arrived, he said a raging sex party was already in progress and he promptly took part in it.

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How ‘Enemy-Creep’ Is Guantanamo-izing America

110224-N-8241M-110Via Guernica, Karen Greenberg sounds the warning on what she terms “enemy creep.” Treatments once reserved for foreign terror suspects will be applied to the U.S. populace, as the definition of the “enemy” continually expands.

It has been a persistent worry of civil libertarians that violations of the rights of non-citizens would eventually contaminate the ways citizens are treated, too; that a process of “enemy creep” would, in the end, result in the Guantanamo-ization of American terrorism suspects.

When rights were first denied to captives at Guantanamo Bay, the Bush administration argued that a prison in Cuba should not be considered subject to the constitutional principles that apply to Americans everywhere or to anyone within the territorial boundaries of the U.S. It is, however, quite another matter, as in the King hearings, to single out Muslims or others in our midst as potential terrorists and then to argue that when arrested—even if they are U.S.

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Obama’s Top Five Broken Campaign Promises

3547562653_c52a71c939For all he has managed to accomplish in the presidency, these are perhaps the five biggest disappointments thus far. Stephen Webster of Raw Story examines Obama’s campaign promises that never came true:

1. Health care for all
Ultimately, the [health care] debate in Washington became so heated and rife with disinformation that the administration agreed to forgo the public option, using it as a bargaining chip to ensure other proposals were passed. They also gave in to Republican demands and extended the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, promising to take on the issue again in 2012. In spite of the modest legislative victory of actually getting health reform passed, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that even after all the elements take effect in 2014, over 22 million Americans will still lack access to basic health services.

2. Close Guantanamo
As a symbol of everything that liberals thought to be wrong with the Bush-era, closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison should have been an easy target for the new and popular president and his Democratic super-majority in Congress — and, in fact, then-candidate Obama promised to do just that.

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Obama Restarts Guantanamo Trials

GitmoEntranceThe Washington Post reports:

President Barack Obama approved Monday the resumption of military trials for detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ending a two-year ban.

It was the latest acknowledgement that the detention facility Obama had vowed to shut down within a year of taking office will remain open for some time to come. But even while announcing a resumption of military commission trials, Obama reaffirmed his support for trying terror suspects in U.S. federal courts – something that’s met vehement resistance on Capitol Hill.

“I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system – including Article III courts – to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened,” the president said in a statement.

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Arguments Against The Police State at Guantanamo Bay

[disinformation ed.'s note: The Washington Post reports that "Obama administration officials are drafting an executive order that would set up a review process for detainees held indefinitely at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." In a region where both American and Cuban law ceases to exist, does this order follow the procedures set forth in President Obama's May 2009 speech about detainees who would be held indefinitely at that military prison? With that in mind, we thought we'd remind our readers of Russ Kick's "12 Arguments Against the Police State at Guantanamo Bay" in his Book of Lists: Subversive Facts and Hidden Information in Rapid-Fire Format (2004)]:
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The 660 or so people being held at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have never been tried or even charged with crimes. They can be held for the rest of their lives at the whim of the government, and the military has floated the possibility of executing some of them. In an effort to remedy this disgraceful destruction of rights and the law, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a petition seeking habeas corpus, which would force the government to Constitutionally process the prisoners (i.e., quick and speedy trials, jury of peers, right to confront accusers, etc.).

A district court refused, buying the feds’ ridiculous argument that because the US military base is located on the island of Cuba, it isn’t subject to US law, though it also is most definitely not subject to Cuban law. Following this line of argument, no law applies there, making it an autonomous zone, as devised by Hakim Bey, or an interzone, from the works of William Burroughs. I’m sure that the men and women stationed at Guantanamo Bay would be surprised to know that they can apparently steal, rape, and kill with impunity. Go ahead, snort coke off your commanding officer’s desk. It’s all right, because US law doesn’t apply…

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Democrats, Not Republicans, Added Ban On Gitmo Detainee Transfer To Omnibus Spending Bill

Detainees at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay.

Detainees at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay.

Rachel Slajda writes at TPMMuckraker:

The Obama administration has loudly opposed a provision of the omnibus spending bill, passed last week by the House, that would ban the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil, even for trial.

“This provision goes well beyond existing law and would unwisely restrict the ability of the Executive branch to prosecute alleged terrorists in Federal courts or military commissions in the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter to Senate leadership, calling the provision “dangerous” and asking that it be stripped before the Senate votes on the bill this week.

“We strongly oppose this provision. Congress should not limit the tools available to the executive branch in bringing terrorists to justice and advancing our national security interests,” White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said just before the bill passed.

So you would think, then, that this was perhaps a provision snuck into the must-pass government funding bill by Republicans intent on derailing Holder’s plan to try self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian criminal court.

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