American Marine Major General Michael Lehnert, who was in charge of the construction and opening of Guantanamo Bay Prison, says he now believes the facility should not have been opened, and that "the entire detention and interrogation strategy was wrong."
Our decision to keep Guantanamo open has helped our enemies because it validates every negative perception of the United States.The motto of the US Military toward Gitmo is “Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent.” From February, 2013, the number of hunger-striking prisoners was released daily to the public. That is no longer the case – we are not allowed to know how many are on a hunger strike; some say the current number is in the 80s, while others say 15.
The torture of these prisoners is bad enough, but their treatment is illegal – in 2009 it was determined that 48 Gitmo prisoners were too dangerous, and/or too little evidence available to be given a trial, so that they must be given life sentences, this also by rt.com:
This is a violation of international law, a violation of US law, this is a violation of the Magna Carta that goes back 800 years of sense of what justice means.In all, since 2002, the U.S. has held 779 men in Guantanamo. As of Dec. 2013, figures of those remaining at the facility to be 162, (some say) 80 of which have been cleared for relocation (a large number of these have been held for many years past their release date).
As a New Year's present, three prisoners were recently released and accepted by the country of Slovakia as political refugees, after they begged not to be repatriated to their native China. The three young men had been captured in Afghanistan after they escaped imprisonment in their own country as Urghur political protesters – torture there, torture here.
Note that the above article is another example of the lack of transparency in that the Times apparently was told that there were originally 22 ethnic Chinese Uyghurs captured and imprisoned. This is an example of a little joke the US Government enjoys – the number 22 is often used for any statistic where the actual number is either not known or not intended for disclosure. Please remember this whenever you see the #22 used in the media.
For the unfortunate last 3 Uyghurs, a judge ordered them released in 2008, but they were not allowed to leave until the end of Dec. 2013.
Oh, the US Government has such a sense of humor – note that article previously linked to the Miami Herald contained a joke: in a court case concerning Gitmo, under oath, a witness used a pseudonym and it was approved, saying, “a pseudonym puts a patina of normality on a thing.”
No trials, no evidence no convictions… there are only forced feedings for hunger strikers, instances of waterboarding, 8 deaths … and waiting, years of the same all over again, in a country where now life is so cheap.
Pictures of Guantanamo prisoners wearing orange prison jumpsuits, heads covered in black masks, is not a pretty sight, but it must be faced, twelve years of brutal treatment at Gitmo, and 8 deaths at the hands of U.S. Government tormentors. Is the U.S. Government the bully of the world; is that the reputation this country has – the bad guys?
* On January 11, 2014, you are invited to a performance of social justice theater, in Medford, Oregon, to be presented by members and friends of Veterans for Peace, local Chapter (VFP) 156, at Vogle Plaza, at high noon – be there in person, or be there in spirit. This event will be filmed and you will be able to view it on the day following. The members of the Press will be present and filming.
One actor will be force-fed using military-type plastic feeding tubes, which when used at Guantanamo cause physical injury to the face and internal organs of the victim – yes, theater, but a totally realistic view of frequent occurrence at Guantanamo.
"To awaken the conscience of others, these warriors for peace will present themselves in orange prison garb, black-hooded, protesting the deaths of eight detainees who died waiting for justice, some under suspect circumstances. A volunteer strapped to a wheelchair will endure a nasal-gastric feeding to convey the hardships of the living," says Rogue Valley (Medford) Veterans for Peace.
Is Medford the theater capital of the world … perhaps in terms of awareness and voices for social justice. Members of chapter #156 think so and are sure viewers will agree.
There will be a follow-up article after the event, as well as a detailed history of the eight Guantanamo deaths.
Charlotte Wilson is a writer with one book published, Blue Group, the biography of an agent, officer and operator in the NSA for 46 years. (ISBN 1-559286-877-X), and two screenplays. Her website is www.worldviewopinion.net, where this article first appeared. Worldviewopinion.net encourages questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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