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May-09-2013 10:37printcomments

The Horror of Guantanamo

Of course Obama had promised to close Guantanamo in 2009. But now he just offers excuses for breaking his promise.

Gitmo
Courtesy: propublica.org

(RICHMOND, RI) - Imagine being imprisoned in a foreign country for years without being charged with a crime. Your family at home is frantic not knowing how you are being treated or even if you are still alive.

This begins to describe the plight of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and our other “off-shore” prisons. At one time we held nearly 800 prisoners at Guantanamo. Many had been captured and turned over to American forces by bounty hunters – since we were paying $5000 per captive. Some of these so-called “enemy combatants” were children.

Most detainees had done nothing wrong, and were eventually released or transferred. Several died at Guantanamo – some allegedly by suicide.

Today 166 prisoners remain at Guantanamo. Many have been held, and often tortured, for 10 or 11 years. Most have actually been cleared for release. Yet they remain imprisoned.

Shaker Aamer was never charged. But he has been held for 10 years. The United Kingdom, where his wife and children live, has appealed in vain to the U.S. for his release.

Adnan Latif was repeatedly cleared for release during his 10 years confinement. His “release” eventually came last September when he died at Guantanamo.

More than 100 detainees have now decided that death is their only hope for release, So they are on extended hunger strikes. But they’re not even allowed to die. Dozens are being force fed.

Imagine being put in a specially-designed restraint chair. Your arms, legs and head are strapped to the chair so you can’t move. Then, with no anesthetic, a tube is forced through your nose, down your throat into your stomach; and liquid food is poured into it through a funnel.

The tubes are not cleaned between uses. Thus you see blood and stomach bile from the previous victim in the tube before it is forced down your throat. When the guards and medical personnel want to inflict even greater pain they use extra large tubes.

The prisoner is held in the restraint chair for two hours or more, not even allowed to go to the bathroom. This torture is repeated twice a day. Some prisoners have endured it for four years.

Former American military officers Matthew Alexander, Colin Powell and David Petraeus as well as CIA director John Brennan see the horror of Guantanamo as a major recruiting tool for anti-American “militants.” President Obama and Vice President Biden have expressed similar concerns.

Of course Obama had promised to close Guantanamo in 2009. But now he just offers excuses for breaking his promise.

Petitions calling for the closure of Guantanamo can be found on the websites of Amnesty International (amnestyusa.org) and other organizations.

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Rod Driver studied engineering and mathematics at the University of Minnesota, receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1960. He worked at Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque for six years before taking a teaching position at the University of Rhode Island for 30 years. Rod says he became a 'peacenik' in 1951 (thanks to a few weeks on Pariss Island). He became particularly active in opposition to U.S. wars in Indochina and U.S. involvement in overthrowing governments and supporting dictators in Latin America and Iran. As the Vietnam war was winding down Rod began paying attention to the abuse of Palestinians - enabled with U.S. weapons and dollars, which has never stopped. Rod is the founder and president of the non-profit Justice First Foundation.

In Rhode Island Rod was an elected delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1986, Then he was elected a state representative for 10 years. At this time he is not in office. You can write to Rod Driver at this address: rod@roddriver.com

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Anonymous May 10, 2013 4:45 am (Pacific time)

It's easy to take care of these terrorists. One bullet each. The Government has enough bullets, might as well use them on the right people before they use them against the American people.

So you're a murderous piece of shit?  Is that what you're saying?

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