Thursday, May 02, 2013

The American Concentration Camp

The American Concentration Camp remains open.  It's name is Guantanamo.  That would make Barack Obama the gestapo.  If those are harsh words, harsh words are needed when you betray the spirit of American justice.

For years, whether it was 100% true or not, the US was seen around the world as a place where fair trials were possible.  Forced confessions?  A judge learned about that and it would be ruled inadmissible.  A judge learned evidence was obtained without a search warrant?  It would be ruled fruit of the poisonous tree and not allowed to be introduced.

This was more important than conviction rates.  On the international stage, this said something about the country of the United States and about character.  The justice system imposed rules and guidelines on the state.  Without that, you're back to the days of royal edicts and not rules of law.

The US had a flawed system that strove for fairness.

At a time when the world had gulags and secret prisons, the US was a beacon.  Just the idea of the US justice system made the world more hopeful, made people living under brutal regimes believe their lives and their country could improve.

Guantanamo is a concentration camp.  That's all it is.  So far, prisoners aren't being executed.  But they are being held for over a decade without any contact with the outside world.  These conditions are appalling and illegal and I know that for a reason: When similar conditions were imposed on US POWS, the US government rightly objected.

This morning, the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg attempts to discuss the hunger strike with Renee Montagne on Morning Edition (NPR).  Barack, we're told, is having to force feed prisoners on a hunger strike.  What we're not told is, it's not because he gives a damn about them.  He just doesn't want the dead body.  He doesn't want the corpse.

For too long, Americans have tolerated the torture of Guantanamo.  The push-back now is greater than ever but it's still not that great.  A dead body?  A prisoner killing themselves by a hunger strike to convey how desperate and bleak the world of Guantanamo is?

That could lead to a tarnished image.

He's been really luck that a lot of pigs have covered for him the last four years.

Little personal story, I walk into the house, years ago, one evening to purple carpets.  I get the kids and ask how we ended up with purple carpet?  'Well it wasn't my fault?  He dyed the dog purple.  Then it started to rain and I didn't want to leave the dog outside when he was already wet . . .'

There was no innocent there.  It was not one of their faults, it was their combined fault.  No, you shouldn't have dyed the dog purple (fortunately that washed out with a basic shampoo) but you shouldn't have brought the dog inside when it was dripping purple everywhere.

The maturity level in public discourse in the United States is at an all time low.

I'm not referring to the name calling, I'm not referring to the tone.

But I am thinking that maybe it's time for responsible parents and/or caretakers to be the only ones allowed to speak for a little bit.  Responsible being the key word.  No parents that enables their child to get away with everything would be allowed to participate.

Barack may be your little baby and you may love him so much but it really doesn't matter at this point that Bully Boy Bush opened Guantanamo.

That doesn't matter.

Barack knew it didn't matter and planned to close, promised to as a 2008 candidate before he became president and got White House attorneys who see breaking the law 'legally' as a booyah moment.

And the excuses for your little baby boy, that he would close but that mean Congress won't let him?

That's a lie.  As Rosenberg explains in the report, all he has to do is get the Defense Secretary (Chuck Hagel now) to sign off on a prisoner to get that prisoner released -- that's the 'great imposition' Congress imposed.

He was elected knowing Guantanamo was wrong and promising he would close it.  He had a full term to do so.  He didn't.  Don't give me crap about Bush opening it.  Bush lives in a hovel in Dallas, Texas.

(Truly a hovel.  He's a cheap ass.  He bought a home close to Highland Park but not in Highland Park.  Too cheap to pay the high taxes so he moves as close to Highland Park as he can without being in Highland Park.  Too cheap to buy a nice home, he buys one that was abandoned during construction years before.  He's cheap.)

Yeah, he's lucky in a prison for War Criminals.  Want to bring charges, I'll sign the petition.

But Bush's crimes don't excuse Barack's continued crimes and keeping Guantanamo open is crime.

Force feeding people on a hunger strike is pretty low as well.

Carol Rosenberg offers that possibly releasing one prisoner could return the hope and end the strike.  Possibly.

I don't know that her guess is correct.  She explains that Barack's latest team came in using rubber bullets.  She explains harsher conditions.  A prisoner released prior to Barack's latest thugs taking charge?

Yeah but that's when the prisoners could gather, that's when they could worship together.

Releasing a prisoner right now under the current conditions?  I think most prisoners would assume the released was actually dead.

If they want to stop the strike, they're probably going to need to return to allowing the prisoners to associate with one another and to release prisoners.

But the hunger strike isn't the issue.  It's the issue for Barack because he's doing something illegal and the hunger strike risks forcing even his indulgent parents to call him out.

The issue is the law and until the US government shows respect for the law, its sinking not just the United States but the whole world.

The US government used to believe in prosecution and used to abide by laws.

Who started it is a childish argument that only overly indulgent parents tolerated.  A mess has been made, a criminal mess, and it is incumbent upon the president to fix it.  That's Barack Obama.

The following community sites -- plus, Ms. magazine's blog, Jane Fonda, Cindy Sheehan, Adam Kokesh, CSPAN and Pacifica Evening News  -- updated last night and this morning:

We'll close with this from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

CEJIL and CCR Demand End to Indefinite Detention as Hunger Strike Threatens Lives of Over 100 Men
New York and Washington, DC, May 1, 2013—The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) join the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in demanding that the United States take immediate steps to end the crisis currently unfolding in the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base and close the detention center.
At this moment, over 100 of the men still detained in Guantánamo are involved in a hunger strike now in its third month, and are risking their very lives in order to protest their continued arbitrary, indefinite detention in Guantánamo. Over one-fifth of these men are being force-fed by the United States military. Additionally, the United States still refuses to allow IACHR and UN experts to visit prisoners in Guantánamo.
The Inter-American Commission and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on countering terrorism, the UN Special Rapporteur on health, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in their joint communication, “call urgently on the Government of the United States of America to respect and guarantee the life, health and personal integrity of detainees at the Guantánamo Naval Base, particularly in the context of the current hunger strike.”
The Inter-American Commission, a human rights body of the OAS, has actively monitored the situation in Guantánamo since it first issued precautionary measures in 2002, as part of its mandate to issue important measures of protection in serious and urgent situations to prevent irreparable harm. The IACHR has repeatedly called on the United States to close Guantánamo, as have the UN special mandate-holders and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In the statement, the Inter-American Commission recalls the information given by CEJIL and CCR during our thematic hearing at the IACHR’s March 2013 sessions including “specialized information on the severe and lasting physiological and psychological damage caused by the detainees’ high degree of uncertainty over basic aspects of their lives, such as knowing whether or not they will be tried; whether they will be released and when; or whether they will see their family members again.”
“At Guantánamo, the indefinite detention of individuals, most of whom have not been charged, goes far beyond a minimally reasonably period of time and causes a state of suffering, stress, fear and anxiety, which in itself constitutes a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” stressed Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren said, “Contrary to its international obligations, the United States government continues to imprison 166 men in Guantánamo today, including 86 men who still languish in prison despite having been cleared for release by the United States. One of these men is our client Djamel Ameziane, whose landmark case was declared admissible by the IACHR in 2012 when CEJIL and CCR brought it.”
“Guantánamo has become a symbol of a failed policy to deal with terrorism by curtailing rights and engaging in practices that offend the values and principles upheld by international human rights law and the American Constitution” expressed Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of CEJIL.
As this urgent, ongoing crisis threatens to end the lives of over 100 men, CEJIL and CCR join the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission in once again calling on the United States to end the indefinite detention of persons; fulfill its international obligations by taking concrete steps to close the detention facility without delay; safely transfer, release, and resettle detainees; and ensuring that detained men have effective access to justice. We also call on the US government to allow representatives of the Inter-American Commission and the United Nations special mandate-holders to visit Guantánamo with full access to the detained men.
Useful links:
·         Resolution 2/11 Regarding the Situation of the Detainees at Guantánamo Bay, United States, Precautionary Measures 259-02
·         Precautionary Measure 259/02 – Detainees being held by the United States at Guantánamo Bay
·         IACHR Public Hearing – Human Rights Situation of Persons Detained in the Naval Base of Guantánamo, United States, March 12, 2013, 147th Period of Sessions
·         Djamel Ameziane profile
o   IACHR Report No. 17/12 (Admissibility), Djamel Ameziane, United States
o   Precautionary Measure 211/08 –Djamel Ameziane, United States
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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