Colonel Ann Wright is registering strong protest against us keeping our prison operating at Guantanamo.
This is a Biblical moral issue.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
“As if you were” there with them! That’s asking a lot.
Connie and I watched the movie “Road to Guantanamo” a couple of weeks ago. It is probably one of those necessary movies for Americans – because Guantanamo is being done in our name. And it illustrates, on the basis of the true stories of a few former victims of Guantanamo, what Col. Wright is talking about in this article.
I do urge the watching of the movie. It has a relatively happy ending – the three guys who are the focus of the movie were released. But what they went through for years because of the immoral and unaccountable behavior of our government is important for us to understand.
Col. Wright spent 29 years in the Army and Army Reserve, then another 16 years as a diplomat (often an Ambassador) for the US government. She is in a position to know if she cares to – and she does care to.
She knows what has been happening in relation to Guantanamo. This US-built and US-run prison at our Naval base in Cuba is a major embarrassment to the US and a great injustice. January 11 would be a good time to demand that it be shut down. And we should watch the movie.
On January 11, 2002, the first detainees from Afghanistan arrived at the prison in the US Naval Base, Guantanamo, Cuba. In the succeeding five years, Guantanamo has symbolized to the world the Bush administration’s abandonment of international and domestic law, and the development of a policy of inhumane treatment and use of torture.
Bush said he knew for for sure these were the “bad guys.” He lied. They were mostly just guys who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
a remarkably low number, only 5 percent, or about 25 detainees, were captured by US forces. Eighty-six percent … were arrested by Pakistani forces or the Afghan Northern Alliance and turned over to US custody – often for a reward of thousands of dollars… Many were sold to the United States to even scores or just for the money. Anyone living in Afghanistan – young or old – was fair game for sale to US forces. The oldest detainee shipped to Guantanamo was 75 and the youngest 10.
And they were stuck there because the big boys in D.C. (maybe the really “bad guys”?) were determined to prove they were justified in holding them.
… they remained for years because of pressure for interrogation “results” from the civilian political leadership at the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and the White House.
The youngest were 10, 12, and 13 when they were “captured.” At the end of 2006, four of these juveniles still are detained. They have spent one-fourth of their lives in Guantanamo.
And the criminal behavior of this government continues in its efforts to protect itself from accountability.
[Attorney General Alberto] Gonzalez continued to make it harder to prosecute US personnel for prisoner abuse under the War Crimes Act by convincing Congress – through the Military Commissions Act – to provide a free pass for criminal acts dealing with detainees if the acts were committed before December 31, 2005.
To her it is a matter of personal integrity as well as a matter of protecting the character and reputation of the United States government.
On January 11, 2007, the fifth year that detainees from Afghanistan have been in Guantanamo, organizations all over the world will call for Guantanamo to be closed. For the sake of our integrity and conscience, each one of us must take action: Organize vigils, show the movie “The Road to Guantanamo” or have readings of “Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom” (www.bordc.org).
Should we concern ourselves? Well, here’s Jesus, in Matthew 25:36, explaining a reason for some being admitted to Life.
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
In a more recent article, Guantanamo’s Cost to Our Humanity, Col. Wright complains, justly, that
after five years of imprisonment, only ten of 770 prisoners have been charged by the “Guantanamo process” and most have suffered abuse at the hands of the American military and CIA
Because we’re the good guys, and the Christian nation, we can do what we want, eh?
on June 10, 2006, three Guantanamo prisoners took their own lives, rather than continue the uncertainty of detention without trial. Yasser al-Zahrani was only 21 years old when he committed suicide. He had been detained by the Bush administration for over four years since he was 17. He was to have been released in three days – but no one told him.
And here’s an example of the high and sensitive morality of our agents on the scene.
Colleen Graffy, deputy assistant secretary of state for public affairs, said the suicides were part of a “strategy and a tactic to further the jihadi cause” and a “good PR move to draw attention.” She also said the men did not value their lives or the lives of those around them.
DOD officials told the world that Camp Iguana in Guantanamo held only three minors … [later] DOD was forced to acknowledge that dozens of minors had been held in the adult portion of the prison … the suicide victims had probably been driven by despair because they were being held lawlessly with no end in sight. They have not been charged, much less convicted of any crime.
in October 2006, the Bush administration and the US Congress retroactively shielded from prosecution for illegal criminal activities those who have been involved in illegal detention, torture, and rendition … the president and the Congress have conveniently disposed of historic common law (habeas corpus) and international humanitarian law (Geneva Conventions).
Are they believers? Yes, they believe that might makes right. They will learn otherwise – but not soon enough for their many victims.
There is little doubt that Bush will continue to have the CIA secretly detain and abuse … suspects