gitmo

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Rapper/actor Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) released a video in conjunction with a human rights organization this morning via The Guardian that shows him undergoing what he says is the standard process for force-feeding Guantanamo detainees. Or attempting to, anyway — after an excruciating attempt to submit to a nasogastric tube (up the nostrils, down to the stomach) he convulses in tears and begs to stop the experiment.

More than half of the 166 prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo are participating in a hunger strike that has been going on for months, military officials have said. Lawyers for the prisoners have asked the federal courts to stop the force-feeding, saying it’s akin to torture and prevents them from observing the religious fasting of Ramadan, which begins tonight. Justice Department lawyers responded last week that the process is a humane way to keep detainees from starving to death.

Bey, 39, has a background in activism, railing against the government response to Hurricane Katrina and the conviction of Mumia Abu-Jamal. He made the film with the group Reprieve, which participated in the court filings.

Source

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Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman was on guard at the Cuban prison camp on the night they died, and calls the official version of events “impossible”.
“They would have had to all three tie their hands and feet together, shove rags down their throats, put a mask over their face, made a noose, hung it from the ceiling on the side of the cellblock, jumped into the noose and hung themselves simultaneously,” the ex-Marine told Vice News in an explosive video interview.
“In a cellblock where guards are ordered to check on detainees every four minutes.”
There had also been an inspection of the cellblock only a few hours earlier, Hickman said, and guards had found nothing detainees might use to make the nooses and rags.
Hickman tried for years to put the nightmare of his time at Guantanamo behind him, but eventually he was forced to confront his past.
He has now written a book, Murder at Camp Delta, which he hopes will be a step towards finding out the truth.
“I was trying to put Guantanamo behind me. I didn’t want to remember it. It was like a bad dream I was trying to put in the past,” he said.
“Then I saw in news that another detainee had hung themself. I had to face it and see what really happened.”
On the night of June 9, 2006, Hickman was on guard at Camp Delta when he says he saw a paddywagon return to high-security Alpha Block three separate times, each time picking up a prisoner and taking them out of the camp.
He claims he watched the paddywagon take a left outside the checkpoint ACP Roosevelt, which he said would only lead to one of two places — the beach or Camp No, which we now know was a secret CIA holding facility.
“Between 11pm and 11.30pm I witnessed the paddywagon come back to Camp Delta,” he said.
“Instead of Camp 1, it went to the medical detainee clinic. About 10 minutes later, all the lights come on, like a stadium, and sirens are going off — it’s chaos.”
The prisoners were dead.
The three men were Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, 37, from Yemen, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, 30, from Saudi Arabia, and Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, 22, also from Saudi Arabia.
Al-Zahrani had been imprisoned at Guantanamo since he was captured at 17. None of the men had been charged with a crime.
After their deaths, Rear Admiral Harry Harris took the unusual step of attacking them in his announcement of their apparent suicide.
“They have no regard for life, either ours or their own,” he told Reuters. “I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”
But why would the authorities want to kill these men and make their deaths look like suicide?
Hickman says it’s because the three were regular hunger strikers, who incited others to do the same.
“They had a policy that if a detainee is hunger-striking, he cannot be interrogated,” said Hickman. “In 2006, they were doing roughly 200 interrogations a week, so any massive hunger-strike would, what they consider, cripple the intelligence value.
“I believe the number-one mission in JTF-GTMO (Joint Task Force Guantanamo) at the time was, stop the hunger strikes at all costs.
“I think you get rid of the people that provoked the hunger strikes and you get rid of the problem.
“After the deaths there were no hunger strikes for a long period of time.”
The ex-sergeant has spent the years since his time at the prison camp independently investigating what happened that night, and first approached the US Justice Department in 2009.
His claims, and that of others from his team, were first reported by Harper’s Magazine in 2010, provoking a major backlash, in which authorities said Hickman would have been outside the perimeter and not even able to see the entrance to Alpha Block.
There are many questions over what has gone on at the controversial facility, which still holds about 150 prisoners.
It is considered illegal under human rights law to detain people without charge, and many people say the reality of Guantanamo is the opposite of its motto: “Safe, humane, legal, transparent.”
Former inmates say the CIA regularly used torture techniques described in the recent Senate report when questioning them. They have alleged systematic abuse and former guard Brandon Neely said violence and degrading treatment was commonplace.
Hickman rejoined the army after September 11, believing it was his duty to help. “I thought Guantanamo was needed, warfare was changing and we needed a safe place to hold and interrogate them.”
The reality he discovered was very different.
“They scare you when you get there; they tell you you can never talk about this, it’s a classified facility. Everyone’s afraid they’re going to get in trouble.”
While Hickman has not named any alleged murderers in his book, he hopes that it will trigger a close investigation into what really went on.
“I can’t name names. I keep it vague at the end for that reason,” he says. “I say it was murder, this is the reason why.”

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/guantanamo-guard-cia-killed-prisoners-and-made-it-look-like-suicide/story-fna50uae-1227186538888

Omar Khadr’s story used to always bring me to tears. Every single time without fail. He used to pop up in my mind every now and then and a wave of sadness would crash into me. I never thought I’d shed tears of happiness for him. I never thought I’d live to see this day. May the innocent in Guantanamo find justice. Alhamdulillah. 

Two things:
1. Look into who is making money off maintaining Guantanamo and you’ll find a military contractor = GOP special interest.
2. Where do Republicans think these detainees are going? Some country club low security prison? They are going to max facilities like Leavenworth in the middle of Kansas. Get a grip.

A Gitmo Prisoner Alleges He Has Been Tortured Under Obama

The torture began under President George W. Bush, Gitmo prisoner Imad Abdullah Hassan alleges. It left him broken. And the torture continues under President Obama. The 34-year-old Yemeni has been a prisoner for 12 years. No charges have ever been filed against him. Though cleared for release five years ago, he remains captive. And in his telling, he is tortured daily by American medical staff and guards.

His lawsuit is Imad Abdullah Hassan v. Barack Obama. Be forewarned that his declaration, which comes via the sworn statement of his attorney, is extremely graphic. 

Decide for yourself whether his treatment constitutes torture.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

We found really ominous parallels between how he policed Chicago streets and what he did in Guantánamo Bay torture centers.
—  Spencer Ackerman, national security editor at The Guardian, appears on Democracy Now! to discuss his report on how former Guantánamo Bay interrogator, Richard Zuley, was also a longtime Chicago police officer known for abusing people of color. 
And with the Afghan war ending, this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay – because we counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action, but by remaining true to our Constitutional ideals, and setting an example for the rest of the world.
—  Obama, five years minutes ago.
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Thousands protest Obama in Sweden. 

On September 4th, thousands protested against President Barack Obama in Sweden. The following was translated from the Gothenburg Post using Google Translate:

- We are about 20 organizations that put us together rather quickly. Most are left-handed, but we also have other organizations, says Elin Gauffin from the Socialist Justice Party.

The network goes under the slogan “No to Big Brother Obama”.Participants include, among others, the Pirate Party, Young left, Swedish Peace Council and the Latin America Group.

- We protest that Obama still send people to torture, and that Sweden acted as accomplices in the surveillance scandal. I hope we get at least 2,000 people, said Gauffin.

Reports sent to the Angel Clark Show fan page on Facebook were that roughly 3,000 people attended.

A Reuters video reports “hundreds” attended…

READ MORE: http://noarmycanstopanidea.com/thousands-protest-against-barack-obama-in-sweden-pics/

A Technicality Won’t Excuse Obama for Torture

Is it torture to strap a man to a chair, shove a needlessly big feeding tube through his nostril, force liquid into his stomach, add constipation medicine such that he soils himself, and leave him there to stew in his own filth for a couple hours? What if you do that to the man twice a day over a period of many years?

An inmate at Guantanamo Bay says it’s torture, and that he’s suffered that treatment under the Bush and Obama Administrations. Weighing in on my article about that man, Andrew Sullivan writes that “the technique is painful and humiliating enough to be used as part of a torture program,” but insists that it isn’t torture in this case, because there’s no indication that it “was designed to procure a confession or admission of some kind—and that’s key to defining it as torture." 

He is flat wrong.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Guantanamo Bay: An Untold History of Occupation, Torture, Sham Trials & Resistance by Abby Martin | Media Roots

Few realize how expensive it is to keep Guantanamo Bay prison operational. The Joint Task Force (JTF) detention center, which opened in 2002, costs US taxpayers $140 million a year, breaking down to about $800,000 per detainee.

The JTF was never meant to be permanent, yet twelve long years after the first round of prisoners arrived, 149 prisoners remain detained there indefinitely.

The oft repeated lie that these men are the “worst of the worst” has clouded the reality that the vast majority are completely innocent, and were simply swept up in a dragnet in Afghanistan. 78 have already been deemed innocent and cleared for release, yet pure political theater keeps them imprisoned.

Moreover, only six of the 149 men have been formally charged with a crime. Five are being tried together as alleged co-conspirators of 9/11, although they all are alleged to have varying operational levels, and one alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Yet the commissions process is completely corrupted by absurd levels of government secrecy, classification and intrusion.

A few weeks ago I traveled to Cuba to cover the continuing plight of these men and conduct an in-depth investigation for Breaking the Set. The report details how America came to host one of the most notorious prisons in Cuba, the brutal and systematic torture that took place, the sham of the 9/11 military commissions, the ongoing prisoner hunger strike and how Guantanamo Bay prison can be closed for good.

Check out Abby’s special reports on Gitmo here and here