Guantanamo guard reunited with ex-inmates
The journey of reconciliation began almost a year ago in Huntsville, Texas. Mr Neely, 29, had left the US military in 2005 to become a police officer and was still struggling to come to terms with his time as a guard at Guantanamo. He felt anger at a number of incidents of abuse he says he witnessed, "where I was basically just putting innocent people in cages."
More Treachery at Guantanamo
For many of the prisoners at Guantanamo, the forthcoming US presidential election holds little promise of change. Although both Barack Obama and John McCain have pledged to close Guantanamo, the problem for at least 50 of the 261 prisoners still held at the prison is not that the US government is unwilling to release them, but that there is nowhere for them to go. These men are from countries including Algeria, China, Libya, Tunisian and Uzbekistan. Although they have been approved for release after multiple military review boards - some for at least three years - they cannot be repatriated because of international treaties preventing the return of foreign nationals to countries with poor human rights records,
What FBI agents saw during U.S. interrogations
Does this sound familiar? Muslim men are stripped in front of female guards and sexually humiliated. A prisoner is made to wear a dog's collar and leash, another is hooded with women's underwear. Others are shackled in stress positions for hours, held in isolation for months, and threatened with attack dogs. You might think we are talking about that one cell block in Abu Ghraib, where President George W. Bush wants the world to believe a few rogue soldiers dreamed up a sadistic nightmare. These atrocities were committed in the interrogation centers in American military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. And they were not revealed by Red Cross officials, human rights activists or others the administration writes off as soft-on-terror. They were described in a painful report by the Justice Department's inspector general, based on the accounts of hundreds of FBI agents who saw American interrogators repeatedly mistreat prisoners in ways that the agents considered violations of American law and the Geneva Conventions. According to the report, some of the agents began keeping a "war crimes file" - until they were ordered to stop. These were not random acts. It is clear from the inspector general's report that this was organized behavior by both civilian and military interrogators following the specific orders of top officials.
CNN, the Pentagon's "military analyst program" and Gitmo
The Pentagon has posted to its website the roughly 8,000 pages and audio tapes it was forced to provide to the New York Times regarding its "military analyst" program. Anyone who reads through them, as I've now done, can only be left with one conclusion (other than being extremely impressed with David Barstow's work in putting together this story): if this wasn't an example of an illegal, systematic "domestic propaganda campaign" by the Pentagon, then nothing is. Despite this, the truly extraordinary blackout by the major television and cable news networks -- which were complicit in this program -- continues.
Where Is the Outrage?
Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture, issued last week by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Because the report was widely cited in the media and easily accessed as a pdf file on the Internet, it is fair to assume that those of our citizens who remain ignorant of the extent of their government’s commitment to torture as an official policy have made a choice not to be informed.
Christian Right's Emerging Deadly Worldview: Kill Muslims to Purify the Earth
Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani are the three stooges of the Christian right. These self-described former Muslim terrorists are regularly trotted out at Christian colleges -- a few days ago they were at the Air Force Academy -- to spew racist filth about Islam on behalf of groups such as Focus on the Family. It is a clever tactic. Curly, Larry and Mo, who all say they are born-again Christians, engage in hate speech and assure us it comes from personal experience. They tell their audiences that the only way to deal with one-fifth of the world's population is by converting or eradicating all Muslims. These men are frauds, but this is not the point. They are part of a dark and frightening war by the Christian right against tolerance that, in the moment of another catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil, would make it acceptable to target and persecute all Muslims, including the some 6 million Muslims who live in the United States.
Senate Republicans Block Vote on Indefinite Detentions
Today, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the restoration of habeas corpus for certain foreign nationals held at Guantanamo Bay and on American soil, allowing the President to continue asserting that he has the right to imprison those suspected of being "enemy combatants" indefinitely, without any means to challenge their detention. Forty-two Republican senators and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) voted against closing off debate on the bill, effectively blocking it on a 56-43 vote. Sixty votes would have been necessary to proceed. Tanya Clay House, Public Policy Director for People For the American Way, issued the following statement: "This vote allows President Bush to continue his unprecedented assertions of limitless power. As far as Congress is concerned, he can simply take foreign nationals -- even immigrants living legally in the United States -- and lock them up for as long he likes, with no meaningful review by an independent court. That's not the American way. It raises the question of whether these 43 senators heard the judgment of the people last November, when they resoundingly defeated many of the President's allies at the polls.
Powell urges US to close Guantanamo
About 380 terror suspects remain held without being charged at the Guantanamo Bay prison. Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state, has called for the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba to be shut down immediately, saying it has become a liability. He said the detention facility for foreign terror suspects posed a "major problem" for the country's international image. He suggested that said all Guantanamo inmates – about 380 – be absorbed into the US legal system once the facility is closed, saying he preferred established procedures within the federal law or the manual for courts-martial.
Army officer says Gitmo panels flawed
An Army officer with a key role in the U.S. military hearings at Guantanamo Bay says they relied on vague and incomplete intelligence and were pressured to declare detainees "enemy combatants," often without any specific evidence. His affidavit, released Friday, is the first criticism by a member of the military panels that determine whether detainees will continue to be held. Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a 26-year veteran of military intelligence who is an Army reserve officer and a California lawyer, said military prosecutors were provided with only "generic" material that didn't hold up to the most basic legal challenges.
American Kangaroo Court Claims Its First Victim
David Hicks pleaded guilty Monday to providing material support for terrorism. His trial gives us another opportunity to demand the closure of Guantanamo. The case of Hicks offers us a glimpse into the Kafkaesque netherworld of detentions, kidnappings, torture and show trials that is now, internationally, the shameful signature of the Bush administration. Hicks' passage through this sham process affords us all an opportunity to demand the closure of Guantanamo and an end to these heinous policies.
Guantanamo May Have 30-40 "Real" Cases
The Guantanamo camp may have only 30 to 40 "real" cases and the US detention center should be shut down by 2007, the president of the Belgian Senate, who headed a European inspection team there, said.
Rice, Rumsfeld Block Access to Secret Detainees: International Red Cross
The United States has again refused the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to terrorism suspects held in secret detention centers, the humanitarian agency said on Friday.
UK told US won't shut Guantanamo
The US has rejected the UK government's calls for closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terror suspects. The UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said on Wednesday the camp's existence was "unacceptable" and tarnished the US traditions of liberty and justice.
Pentagon releases names of Guantanamo
Names of the people detained at the US-run Guantanamo detention center in Cuba were released for the first time in more than 4 years. The US government released the list provided by the Pentagon in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit by The Associated Press. For the first time, the world can know who is being held in the mysterious Guantanamo Bay detention center.
Release Guantanamo Bay detainees: UN report
American authorities should release all prisoners in the U.S. detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or try them in court and shut down the prison, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday. The report's five authors urge the United States "to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."
US reveals Guantanamo prisoner data
The Pentagon has released under court order documents it said listed the names and nationalities of about 300 of the nearly 500 foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, but withheld data on the rest.
U.S commits serious human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay: UN report
People held at Guantanamo Bay are entitled to challenge the legality of their detention before a judicial body and to be released if their detention is found to lack a proper legal basis, said the 54-page report. "This right is currently being violated, and the continuing detention of all persons held at Guantanamo Bay amounts to arbitrary detention in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights (ICCPR)," it said.
Where's the Outrage Over Guantanamo Prisoners?
For four years we watched while fellow reporters swallowed everything the government says about these prisoners without checking claims against facts. We can't sit by anymore while men and boys are jailed under conditions you'd call heartless if anyone did it to your dog or cat.
In New Book Ex-Chaplain at Guantánamo Tells of Abuses
Oct. 2 - James J. Yee, a former Muslim chaplain at the Guantánamo Bay detention center, says in a new book that military authorities knowingly created an atmosphere in which guards would feel free to abuse prisoners.
Hunger Strikers Pledge to Die in Guantanamo
More than 200 detainees in Guantánamo Bay are in their fifth week of a hunger strike, the Guardian has been told. Statements from prisoners in the camp reveal that the men are starving themselves in protest at the conditions in the camp and at their alleged maltreatment - including desecration of the Qur'an - by American guards.
President Jimmie Carter: Guantanamo Detentions Disgraceful
Former President Carter said Saturday the detention of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base was an embarrassment and had given extremists an excuse to attack the United States. Carter also criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq as "unnecessary and unjust." "What has happened at Guantanamo Bay ... does not represent the will of the American people," Carter said Saturday. "I'm embarrassed about it, I think its wrong. I think it does give terrorists an unwarranted excuse to use the despicable means to hurt innocent people."
Guantanamo detainees give demands to end hunger strike
More details are emerging about a hunger strike by detainees at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. More than about 180 Afghans were on a hunger strike to protest alleged mistreatment at the facility at a U.S. military base in Cuba.
Guantánamo is gulag of our time
Britain and the US are betraying the cause of human rights in pursuit of their "war on terror", Amnesty International says in its annual report published yesterday.
Stories from the Inside
During the whole time we were at Guantánamo," said Shafiq Rasul, "we were at a high level of fear. When we first got there the level was sky-high. At the beginning we were terrified that we might be killed at any minute. The guards would say to us, 'We could kill you at any time.' They would say, 'The world doesn't know you're here. Nobody knows you're here. All they know is that you're missing, and we could kill you and no one would know.'
Guantánamo Detainee Details Mistreatment
Prisoners at the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have been beaten while blindfolded and handcuffed, terrorized by attack dogs and forced to take drugs, an Australian detainee said in an affidavit released Thursday.
U.S. Torture at Guantánamo 'Increasingly Repressive'
The Red Cross has accused President George Bush's administration of overseeing the intentional physical and psychological torture of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay. It also accused doctors and medics of liaising with interrogators in what was a "flagrant violation of medical ethics".
The Bush administration is ignoring, if not defying outright, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that all terror suspects must be able to challenge their imprisonment. The opening round of detainee military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay last week resembled something between a Mel Brooks farce and the kangaroo courts of former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Maybe Captain Kangaroo courts. The proceedings didn't look anything like justice, military or otherwise. Meanwhile, two U.S. citizens still sit in military brigs, isolated from their lawyers and months if not years away from the hearings the high court says they deserve.
Making Law at Guantanamo
Since the Supreme Court ruled in June that federal courts have jurisdiction over legal challenges by detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the government and attorneys for detainees have been struggling over how to implement the court's decision. The court itself was not helpful in this task. While the justices held that they could consider legal challenges by aliens held at the overseas naval base, they gave scant clue as to what rights, if any, such enemy fighters have.
Coded Letters from Briton in Guantánamo Reveal 'Regime of Violence'
Serious new allegations about the ill-treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have been revealed in a series of letters from a British detainee, who has accused US guards of threatening him with sexual assault and physical violence.
U.S. Abuse a War Crime?
Repeated abuses allegedly suffered by three British prisoners at the hands of US interrogators and guards in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba could amount to war crimes, the Red Cross said yesterday.
Shocking Prisoner Abuses Are Revealed
Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay were subjected to Abu Ghraib-style torture and sexual humiliation in which they were stripped naked, forced to sodomise one another and taunted by naked female American soldiers, according to a new report.
The British Former Guantánamo Detainees Are Set Free
At their return to Great Britain, these Britons, whose only points in common were their belief in Islam and their passage through Afghanistan in 2001, were conducted under heavy police guard to a London Police Station. One of them was immediately set free, while his four companions were interrogated for several hours by the police. Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist unit let them go later, having found nothing with which to reproach them in the framework of the 2001 anti-terrorist law.
Maybe None of Them are Terrorists
Consider this theoretical possibility: if no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, is it also possible that there are no al-Qaida terrorists in Guantánamo?
Military's "espionage" case against Guantanamo chaplain collapses
Prosecution or persecution? Hitler's campaign against "non-Aryans"
began exactly the same way, with endless bogus charges for endless
imaginary crimes, designed to "encourage" emigration,
or at the very least to wear down the opposition. The methods are
the same, only the designated scapegoats are different.
ex-POW can correct mistakes at Guantanamo
Bush spoke of the righteousness of our cause and our unwavering
commitment to rebuilding Iraq. McCain wondered out loud on Friday
about the treatment of prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay. If
he keeps this up and talks louder, the senator from Arizona has
a chance to show Americans the difference between talking idealistically
and putting ideals into practice.
fires Guantanamo defence team
A team of military lawyers recruited to defend alleged terrorists
held by the US at Guantanamo Bay was dismissed by the Pentagon after
some of its members rebelled against the unfair way the trials have
Now that the supreme court is willing to look at the legal aspects
of the Guantanamo "detainees" perhaps this arbitrary inquisition
will get the attention it deserves. Our treatment of war prisoners
in Guantanamo Bay violates the Geneva Conventions and the UN Body
of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of
Detention or Imprisonment.
A Monstrous Failure of Justice
The most powerful democracy is detaining hundreds of suspected foot
soldiers of the Taliban in a legal black hole at the U.S. naval
base at Guantánamo Bay, where they await trial on capital
charges by military tribunals.
Limbo is Too Convenient
The Supreme Court's decision to hear the case of the prisoners at
Guantánamo hinges not only on who they are or what they have
done, but also on where they are being held. We can't fully understand
the status of the prisoners, who have no rights under the Geneva
Convention or the U.S. Constitution, without knowing the history
of the U.S. presence at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.
`war on terror' is a cruel hoax
" In 1997, US State Department officials and executives of
the Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL) lavishly entertained
Taliban leaders in Washington and Houston... In January 1997, a
State Department official told journalists in a private briefing
that it was hoped Afghanistan would become an oil protectorate,
“like Saudi Arabia”.... The US goal was the realisation
of a 60-year “dream” of building a pipeline from the
former Soviet Caspian across Afghanistan to a deep-water port."
Cross blasts Guantanamo
A top Red Cross official has broken with tradition by publicly attacking
conditions at the US military base on Cuba where al-Qaeda suspects
are being held.
women face 'daily danger'
The plight of Afghan women has improved little since the fall of
the Taleban, according to the human rights organisation Amnesty
Worker Held in Security Probe
A physician working as a translator at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba was arrested Tuesday, authorities said, in the latest
of a series of apprehensions that have raised questions about security
at the center for terror suspects.
Allege Rights Abuses by U.S. Military
Prisoners released from the military camps at Guantanamo
Bay in Cuba and Bagram air base in Afghanistan have said in a series
of interviews with Amnesty International that they were subjected
to human rights abuses. "These interviews with former prisoners
are damning and add to the poor record of the Bush administration
with regard to human rights over the past 23 months," said
Alexandra Arriaga, director of government relations for Amnesty