guantanamo-bay

We need to seriously begin to consider how on earth we are going to confront and resolve everything that is Guantanamo. When I say we I mean all of us. We as a country have a significant level of accountability if for no other reason than for our compliance through silence.

No one that is being held at Guantanamo has ever been charged with a crime of any sort which means they have no way of potentially defending themselves to be released.

There have been countless reports from both sides about the inhumane treatment of the detainees (a.k.a. prisoners). Inhumane may be a polite way of putting it.

Al Jazeera journalist Sami al-Haj, who spent six years at the Guantanamo Bay prison, said: “They used dogs on us, they beat me, sometimes they hung me from the ceiling and didn’t allow me to sleep for six days.”

Brandon Neely, a US Military Policeman and former Guantanamo guard, told Al Jazeera that detainees were “treated horribly”.

Neely said he regularly watched detainees being beaten and humiliated, as well as watching a medic beat an inmate.

Bill O’Neil, an international lawyer, pointed out that by its actions in Guantanamo, the US has violated the UN Convention against Torture, which it has ratified and is thus legally bound to uphold.

Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel just last week submitted an op-ed piece to the New York Times by narrating it to interpreters who passed it on to his lawyers.

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.

When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really traveled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.

I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the American invasion in 2001, I fled to Pakistan like everyone else. The Pakistanis arrested me when I asked to see someone from the Yemeni Embassy. I was then sent to Kandahar, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.

I don’t know what the answer is and I’m not saying to just open the doors and let every single person in there go but something has to be done. There has to be some sort of oversight otherwise the ugliness and anger of this place will continue to feed on itself and become darker.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

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