Friday, January 11 was the 11th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba in which hundreds of Muslims, mostly unrelated to any terrorist activities, continue to be holed up without any rights. The prison symbolizes what is wrong with America’s so-called war on terror and its total disregard for human rights of those prisoners who are subjected to the worst forms of torture, coercion and abuse known to mankind in the 21st century.
What is of particular concern is the fact that many of these prisoners are not even charged on anything. Is not 11 years too long a period to charge them or let them go free? But President Obama who had taught constitutional law at the prestigious Chicago University for 12 years had no moral qualms in denying these prisoners such fundamental rights. In an ongoing legal black hole, these prisoners are being used as guinea pigs for medical and psychological experimentation. If Hitler and his Nazi war criminals were alive, they surely would have been proud of such displays under George W. Bush and Barack Obama!
As the investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert Andy Worthington has recently noted in his website, at Guantanamo, the US authorities manufactured a rationale for holding these men and boys – calling them “the worst of the worst,” and disguising the fact that the majority of them were sold to the US military for substantial bounty payments by their Afghan and Pakistani allies. According to Worthington, “They did this through the extraction of false statements in which pliant prisoners – whether tortured or otherwise abused, or bribed or pushed until they could take the pressure no longer – made false statements about their fellow prisoners, and/or themselves, which continue to be regarded as something resembling evidence by all three branches of the US government, even though the closest analogy for what this information is in reality can be found in the false statements uttered by the victims of the witch hunts in the 17th century.”