gitmo

  • Metal Gear: Snake Kills his Fake Dad
  • Metal Gear 2: Metal Gear 1, again, except the dad is real this time
  • Metal Gear Solid: Metal Gear 2, again, except with it's his brother instead of his dad
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Metal Gear Solid, again, except an internet creepypasta
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Metal Gear 1, except Snake's Dad kills Snake's Dad's Mom.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Snake is old and gay in a plane and also Snake's dad isn't dead
  • Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker: Snake's dad starts a gay anime club in the middle of the ocean and gets tricked by both a fake of his mom and also a fake little anime girl who was actually a little anime adult
  • Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes: Snake's dad has an adventure in Gitmo while Hideo Kojima apologizes constantly
  • Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain: Snake's dad starts a gay anime club in the middle of the ocean but it's actually not Snake's dad but Snake's dad's boyfriend's bootleg recreation of Snake's dad
Today in Politics
March 7, 2017
  • Wikileaks released a new trove of thousands of documents today including a supposed arsenal of hacking tools the CIA has used to spy on espionage targets. This release was nicknamed “Vault 7”. In their press release, WikiLeaks said “The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.” (WikiLeaks)(NYT)(WP)
  • United States Congressman Jason Chaffetz said that rather than “getting that new iPhone that they just love,” low-income Americans should take they money they would have spent on it and “invest it in their own health care.” It should be noted that the typical annual cost of an individual market plan costs is about six times as costly as a “new iPhone.” (CNN)(HILL)(WP)
  • Jewish community centers and religious sites continue to receive more threats. All 100 United States Senators asked Trump’s administration for “swift action” regarding the hate crimes and threats. (WP)(CNN)(HILL)
  • This morning Trump tweeted: “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!”. This was later found to be false. Only nine of those (6 per cent) were released under Barack Obama’s administration, with the vast majority freed before his inauguration on 22 January 2009, under George W Bush. (NYT)(IND)(HILL)
  • House Intelligence Committee has scheduled the first hearing on Russian election interference for March 20. A key subject will be Trump’s contact with Russian officials.(CNN)(HILL)(WP)
  • President Donald Trump announced his full endorsement of the GOP health care repeal and replace bill. He also warned legislators if they cannot pass the bill, it could be a “bloodbath” in the 2018 midterm elections. (CNN)(BBC)(ATL)

The White House is finally planning to close Guantanamo Bay prison camp 

More than six years after President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within 12 months, the White House said Wednesday it is “in the final stages of drafting a plan to safely and responsibly close” the controversial military prison. And not a moment too soon.

Those in favor or torture should read Guantánamo Diary and imagine themselves in place of its author

According to a study by the Pew Research Center a few years back, only about 24% of all Americans think that the authorities should never engage in torture, no matter the circumstances. That means that three out of four people think that torture is sometimes allowable. Every Republican candidate has come out in favor of torture as part of their warmongering, except Ted Cruz who, while pretending to be adamantly against torture, defines these acts of brutality against fellow human beings in such a way as to permit an extraordinary number of procedures that virtually everyone else would consider to be torture.

Most legitimate research demonstrates that torture does not work in extracting information from enemy personnel, but as with climate change and the minimum wage, those who support torture have purchased their own research that purports to show that torture works.

But as Guantánamo Diary graphically and brutally shows, the issue of our essential morality trumps any concerns for national security that sadists and the uninformed might invoke as a cause for torture.  Guantánamo Diary is the memoir of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a highly educated Mauritanian who ended up being tortured for months on end at GITMO despite our intelligence services having not one iota of evidence that he ever engaged in terrorism or helped terrorist organizations.

At the age of 19, Slahi went to Afghanistan for a few months to help Islamic guerillas fight against the communist government that the United States also opposed at that time. He later lived and worked in Germany and Canada before returning to Mauritania. After the 9/11 attacks, the United States arranged for the Mauritanian government to detain Slahi and then render him to Jordan, where he was tortured, and then sent to GITMO for more torture. At Guantánamo Slahi was subjected to isolation, temperature extremes, beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation. One time, his American captors—representing you, me and every other citizen of the United States—blindfolded him and took him out to sea for a mock execution. As long as he denied accusations that he recruited suicide bombers for Al Qaida, his captors ratcheted up the pain.  

After torturers used beatings and a forced diet of water to keep him awake for weeks, during which time he was interrogated and suffered other tortures on a daily basis, he finally confessed to crimes he did not commit and for which there was no shred of supporting evidence, circumstantial or otherwise. Prosecutors later refused to prosecute Slahi in 2003 because the government’s case depended solely on his false confessions, which were inadmissible under both U.S and international law because they had come under torture.  In 2010, a federal judge ordered Slahi released, but an appeals court overruled and Slahi is still held at GITMO, although no longer being tortured.

Slahi’s descriptions of what his captors did to him are not for the light of heart. His words bring to life the excruciating pain that torture produces in a more evocative, immediate way than any movie or TV depiction of torture I have seen. His descriptions are so grievously harrowing, perhaps because I knew what Slahi suffered was real and that the torture inflicted on Arnold or Bruce Willis in movies is fake. Page after page describes hour after hour of beatings, sexual degradation, marathon interrogations and exposure to extreme cold or heat. Because we experience these physical torments through the eyes of an individual who is both a fine writer and legitimately religious, we also suffer the mental anguish felt by someone who is innocent of all charges.

Before allowing publication, the U.S. government blanked out much of Guantánamo Diary. Eight full pages in a row are blanked out at the height of the GITMO torture regime. Looking at page after page of thick black lines running horizontally from one edge of the paper to the other filled me with panic and fear, as my imagination provided all the punches, kicks, slaps, nakedness, ice cubes, blaring music, Billy clubs and excrement that the redaction concealed.

The basic argument of Guantánamo Diary is that “evil is as evil does.” Slahi’s experience in the U.S. torture gulag has caused him to consider the United States a force for evil, and not a bastion of freedom.  Reading the memoir filled me with the shame of someone who has committed mortal sins that she-he knows are wrong. I didn’t commit the sins, but I felt the guilt, because it was my country. It’s no wonder that our use of torture embarrassed the country in front of the world and sent a lot of young idealistic Muslims into the arms of ISIS.

Slahi’s story exemplifies why torture doesn’t work. People get so confused and so fearful of additional torment that they begin to lie and admit to acts they didn’t really commit. It also shows that it takes a certain brutal and barbaric turn of mind to engage in torture. It makes me wonder if Dick Cheney ever witnessed the infliction of waterboarding or beatings on an individual or if his sadism is only symbolic, consisting of words and images in his mind. Or did he—or his less intellectual president—believe the sanitized versions of torture we see in our violent entertainments? Senator John McCain did not, but then again he went through the real deal in Vietnam.

It is unfortunate that the Obama Administration decided to sweep our torture history under the rug, saying that no one would be prosecuted for planning or implementing the torture regime that took hold of GITMO, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and dozens of other U.S. military facilities across the globe. Of course, prosecution would have meant sending President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney and a few dozen other government officials to jail for breaking U.S. and international laws.

Word to Ted Cruz: Read Guantánamo Diary.

Word to Donald Trump: Read Guantánamo Diary.

Word to anyone who thinks we should have the right to inflict agonizing pan on others: Read Guantánamo Diary.

If after reading this poignant but depressing memoir, you still believe in torture, then consider yourself outside the human race.

anonymous asked:

Why do you think president Obama wants to close gitmo? Isn't that where we hold people accused of being terrorist? If we let those people go that could be dangerous.

First of all, one of the promises that Barack Obama made over-and-over again as a candidate for the Presidency was that he would shut down the detainee program at Guantanamo. So, that’s a big one. That’s a promise that should be kept. That’s a promise that should have already been delivered upon.

Secondly, we’ve been holding scores of detainees for years – some of them for nearly a decade – without charging them with a crime or moving forward on a plan for putting them on trial, and that’s against many of the ideals that formed a foundation for our country’s existence. If the United States believes that the people being detained at Guantanamo are terrorists, they should be charged with a crime and put on trial. Indefinitely imprisoning people for years without bringing charges against them is a violation of a laundry list of human rights. The United States has summarily taken years off of people’s lives, even though we live in a country where everybody is supposedly guaranteed a fair trial and a world where there are supposed to be strict guidelines and rights for combatants captured during wartime. The detainees in Guantanamo have no rights, and that’s simply not how a civilized society is supposed to treat people – even if they are foreigners or potential dangers. It’s not even fair to suggest that they are potential dangers or terrorist threats since they’ve never had an opportunity to mount a defense or answer to criminal charges.

There is also the fact that the entire detainee program at Guantanamo is lacking transparency, especially since abuses against detainees have been documented by people inside and outside of the government over the years. Since the detainees are held in a makeshift prison compound under military control in an occupied area of a foreign country that the U.S. has not had formal relations with since the Eisenhower Administration, it’s safe to say that there needs to be better oversight for anyone being detained

One last note: there are a lot of Americans who are vehemently opposed to alleged terrorists being transferred to the United States mainland for potential trial and imprisonment. That is just downright ridiculous. How many violent criminals successfully escape from maximum security prison here in the United States? Not a significant number. No terrorist or alleged threat is going to be incarcerated in one of those Martha Stewart, Club Fed prisons. High-ranking terrorists found guilty of their crimes (if they are ever actually charged with something) will end up in a place like the ADX Florence Supermax prison in Colorado. In fact, terrorists are already locked up there like: Zacarias Moussaoui, the al-Qaeda member often said to be the 20th hijacker on 9/11; Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the original World Trade Center bombing; Richard Reid, the failed shoe bomber; several al-Qaeda members responsible for various attacks; Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Terry Nichols, the accomplice who helped Timothy McVeigh plan the Oklahoma City bombing; Eric Rudolph, who bombed abortion clinics and was responsible for the bomb at Centennial Park during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do you know how many people have ever escaped from ADX Florence? Not a single soul has even come close.

We have maximum security prisons throughout the United States. They were literally built to incarcerate dangerous people. If Guantanamo is the only place safe enough to detain the people who are held there right now (mostly without being charged with a crime), and the U.S. military is the only organization capable of adequately providing the security necessary for detaining those people, then I question why taxpayers are spending so much money funding the prisons within our country’s borders and paying the salaries of the correctional officers needed to guard them. Other than local political concerns, there are is no reason why the detainees at Guantanamo couldn’t be transferred to mainland prisons and put on trial. And nobody should be held for a moment longer if they aren’t being charged with a criminal offense.