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Apr 09 2013

The ongoing shame of Guantanamo

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the government does not know what to do with the prisoners who are being held in Guantanamo. They are being held without charges, some for over a decade with no hope of a proper trial or being released. The prisoners themselves realize this, and we have some of them committing suicide (though there are darker suspicions of homicide) and others going on hunger strikes and having to be force-fed.

Of course, Americans dislike the idea that they are running prisons into which people are dumped without any due process and from which there is no escape and so we have propaganda that seeks to portray the prison as some kind of holiday resort where ‘terrorists’ have a nice time at the expense of the taxpayers. While reporters in general are prevented from visiting the camp, selected ones are given ‘special’ tours of the facilities and repay their lavish hosts by writing glowing reports of how wonderful things are there. Glenn Greenwald describes . It is the familiar Potemkin Village story.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    machintelligence

    I have a proposed solution which is only partially tongue-in -cheek: give Guantanamo back to the Cubans, prisoners and all. It would be a fair exchange for what Castro did in the 1980′s.
    From Wikipedia:

    The Cuban government subsequently announced that anyone who wanted to leave could do so, and an exodus by boat started shortly afterward. The exodus was organized by Cuban-Americans with the agreement of Cuban president Fidel Castro. The exodus started to have negative political implications for U.S. president Jimmy Carter when it was discovered that a number of the exiles had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities.

  2. 2
    left0ver1under

    “Fair exchange”?

    For what? Orlando Bosch blowing up an airplane containing 70 innocent civilians?

    That terrorist act was done by Bosch for the US with the help of the CIA, not against the US.

  3. 3
    left0ver1under

    From the linked item:

    Johnson himself notes in passing that there have been recent mass suicide attempts, though he disgustingly mocks them as nothing more than bids for “media attention”, as though he could possibly know that.

    That’s the same sort of hypocritical garbage the US military used on Bradley Manning. Manning was accused of “being insane” by doing things in his cell to keep from going insane (e.g. making faces in a mirror).

    If you do what they accuse you of, you’re a “criminal” or “terrorist”; if you’re not doing what they accuse you of, you’re “up to something”. What’s next, claiming suicides are escape attempts?

  4. 4
    machintelligence

    The Cuban government subsequently announced that anyone who wanted to leave could do so, and an exodus by boat started shortly afterward. The exodus was organized by Cuban-Americans with the agreement of Cuban president Fidel Castro. The exodus started to have negative political implications for U.S. president Jimmy Carter when it was discovered that a number of the exiles had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities

    Prove you can read.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    It seems like it wouldn’t be too hard to handle. Let President Obama go down there (and ideally invite Bush and Cheney along as well) and apologize personally to the prisoners, let them go, give them first class airfare to anyplace in the world, and a couple million dollars in a swiss bank account, and free psychological care for the rest of their lives. Then charge and arrest the people who were committing torture and their chain of command.

    Compared to many of the things the US has done, those would be comparatively easy steps.

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