Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, a day that should live in infamy. Still today there are 166 detainees there even though of that number, 86 were cleared for release months and months ago. The clearance, by the way, was done by a group of investigators from some 20 or so agencies such as the CIA and FBI Etc. Rumsfeld and others claimed that this prison was for the â€œworst of the worstâ€, another lie of many during that sad time. Many, if not most, held there were swept up in actions where the common method was to hold â€˜em all and sort them out later. Thus did many end up there for years under conditions that ought to have resulted in criminal actions against all who participated in this vast injustice.
Democracy Now has had a two-day in-depth interview with Samuel Al-Hajj, a journalist held there for over 6 years. You can see the interviews at Democracynow.org for programs shown on 1/8 and 1/9/13. Frankly, I have known about most of the torture and other treatments for years but this direct interview with just one of the victims was overwhelming. In fact, I had to switch to another program because I found it too sad.
I wonâ€™t go into detail except to say that I hope if the American public ever became aware of the complete story they would demand accounting of a serious nature for what was done to mostly innocent people in their name. I like to think none of this would have happened in my day since most of even the most minor actions were court-martial offenses under the UCMJ. Sami was sexual abused, beaten, restricted from use of toilet, pushed out of a plane to the ground breaking his leg and worse.
Hell ought to be reserved for all of those who pushed this treatment and/or participated. Conditions have not necessarily improved that much since Obama took over. More detainees have died at Gitmo since Obama took over than have been charged. Obama has just nominated John Breenen for director of the CIA. Brennen was instrumental in much of the decisions pushing the use of torture and extra-ordinary rendition. He was the original choice of Obama 4 yrs ago but such a furor was put up that he was given another spot. (Where he was honcho for the presidential kill lists for drone attacks. Nice Guy.)