Tag Archives: Guantanamo

Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest

By Ralph Lopez
Daily KOS

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been stripped of legal immunity for acts of torture against US citizens authorized while he was in office.   The 7th Circuit made the ruling in the case of two American contractors who were tortured by the US military in Iraq after uncovering a smuggling ring within an Iraqi security company.  The company was under contract to the Department of Defense.   The company was assisting Iraqi insurgent groups in the “mass acquisition” of American weapons.  The ruling comes as Rumsfeld begins his book tour with a visit to Boston on Monday, September 26, and as new, uncensored photos of Abu Ghraib spark fresh outrage across Internet.  Awareness is growing that Bush-era crimes went far beyond mere waterboarding.

Torture Room, Abu Ghraib

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Ignorant Certainty

By Robert C. Koehler

Now that the end of the world didn’t happen, I can’t stop thinking about it. What chutzpah, what a diminished worldview, not simply to make such a prediction, but — even more incomprehensible, to my relentlessly self-questioning mind — to know you’ll be among the saved.

In 1011, a guy like Harold Camping would probably have been able to generate more panic than bemusement. A millennium later, with science taught in the public schools and all, we have a little more collective resistance to such thundering certainty leaping from highway billboards. I confess, however, to feeling a deep, reptilian tug last Friday morning, as I saw the sign — SAVE THIS DATE, MAY 21, 2011, CHRIST IS COMING — while driving through eastern Wisconsin. Yikes, that’s tomorrow.

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Wikileaks Guantánamo files: Torture, kidnapping kids, elderly and others

By David Leigh, James Ball, Ian Cobain and Jason Burke
The Guardian UK

• Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts
• Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held
• 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release
Interactive guide to all 779 detainees

More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America’s controversial prison camp in Cuba.

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Obama administration preparing executive order to authorize indefinite detentions

No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. ~ Magna Carta

By John Burton
WSWS

The Obama administration is drafting an executive order, scheduled for release early in 2011, which authorizes indefinite detention without charge of prisoners currently held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The new order means that the prison will remain open, or that these prisoners will be transferred to permanent locations in the US.

The prisoners would be given a “periodic review” of their imprisonment in a procedure that makes a mockery of due process and basic democratic rights.

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WikiLeaks: How U.S. tried to stop Spain’s torture probe

By Carol Rosenberg
Miami Herald

It was three months into Barack Obama’s presidency, and the administration — under pressure to do something about alleged abuses in Bush-era interrogation policies — turned to a Florida senator to deliver a sensitive message to Spain:

Don’t indict former President George W. Bush’s legal brain trust for alleged torture in the treatment of war on terror detainees, warned Mel Martinez on one of his frequent trips to Madrid. Doing so would chill U.S.-Spanish relations.

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Letting Torturers Go Free

By Sherwood Ross
Consortium News

Although U.S. officials have attributed the torture of Muslim prisoners in American custody to a handful of maverick guards or limited to a few “high-value detainees,” such criminal acts were widely perpetrated, likely involving large numbers of military personnel, a book by a survivor suggests. (Image)

According to Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen raised in Germany and defamed as “the German Taliban,” torture at the several prisons in which he was held was frequent, commonplace, and committed by many guards.

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The Gitmo Distraction

By Robert C. Koehler

America’s charade of change comes complete with national “debate” and a slight readjustment of the center to accommodate the Bush Lite policies of the Obama presidency.

What matters is that any change President Obama proposes be symbolic rather than substantive. A furious battle then ensues over the symbolic change so that, if it does finally come to pass — with the president weathering the endless flow of invective and fear-mongering from the Republican right — it will appear as though something was actually accomplished.

Meanwhile, business as usual holds course. The great swell of hope for a renewal of American society that swept Obama into office — for a real accounting of the crimes of the Bush administration, not to mention a reversal of its most heinous policies and a return to value-based governance — dissipates into the vague, scattered disappointment of millions of supporters, who once again have no focus for their disaffection.

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