Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tortured In Guantanamo

Guantanamo still holds prisoners who have been there for years and never been charged with a crime. It is force-feeding prisoners who are trying to kill themselves by refusing to eat.

This is America.

From TruthOut:

Tortured in Guantánamo, Uncharged Prisoner Details a US-Created Hell

From his new book being published by Little, Brown, the words of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, somewhat redacted by his torturers:
"After several days in isolation I was transferred to the general population, but I could only look at them because I was put in the narrow barbed-wire corridor between the cells. I felt like I was out of jail, though, and I cried and thanked God. After eight months of total isolation, I saw fellow detainees more or less in my situation. "Bad" detainees like me were shackled 24 hours a day and put in the corridor, where every passing guard or detainee stepped on them.

The place was so narrow that the barbed wire kept pinching me for the next ten days. I saw --------------------- being force-fed; he was on a forty-five day hunger strike. The guards were yelling at him, and he was bouncing a dry piece of bread between his hands. All the detainees looked so worn out, as if they had been buried and after several days resurrected, but ------------------- was a completely different story: he was bones without meat. It reminded me of the pictures you see in documentaries about WWII prisoners.

Detainees were not allowed to talk to each other, but we enjoyed looking at each other. The punishment for talking was hanging the detainee by the hands with his feet barely touching the ground. I saw an Afghani detainee who passed out a couple of times while hanging from his hands. The medics "fixed" him and hung him back up. Other detainees were luckier: they were hung for a certain time and then released."

"You're not a man, and you don't deserve respect. Kneel, cross your hands, and put them behind your neck."

I obeyed the rules and he put a bag over my head. My back was hurting bad lately and that position was so painful; --------- was working on my sciatic problem.[4] --------- brought two projectors and adjusted them on my face. I couldn't see, but the heat overwhelmed me and I started to sweat.

"You're gonna be sent to a U.S. facility, where you'll spend the rest of your life," he threatened. "You'll never see your family again. Your family will be f**cked by another man. In American jails, terrorists like you get raped by multiple men at the same time. The guards in my country do their job very well, but being raped is inevitable. But if you tell me the truth, you're gonna be released immediately."

I was old enough to know that he was a rotten liar and a man with no honor, but he was in charge, so I had to listen to his bullshit again and again. I just wished that the agencies would start to hire smart people. Did he really think that anybody would believe his nonsense? Somebody would have to be stupid: was he stupid, or did he think I was stupid? I would have respected him more had he told me, "Look, if you don't tell me what I want to hear, I'm gonna torture you."

Anyway, I said, "Of course I will be truthful!"

"What terrorist organizations are you part of?"

"None!" I replied. He put back the bag on my head and started a long discourse of humiliation, cursing, lies, and threats. I don't really remember it all, nor am I ready to sift in my memory for such bullshit. I was so tired and hurt, and tried to sit but he forced me back. I cried from the pain. Yes, a man my age cried silently. I just couldn't bear the agony.

--------- after a couple of hours sent me back to my cell, promising me more torture. "This was only the start," as he put it.


 This is America.

 A bio of the author:
"Mohamedou Ould Slahi was born in a small town in Mauritania in 1970. He won a scholarship to attend college in Germany and worked there for several years as an engineer. He returned to Mauritania in 2000. The following year, at the behest of the United States, he was detained by Mauritanian authorities and rendered to a prison in Jordan; later he was rendered again, first to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and finally, on August 5, 2002, to the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he was subjected to severe torture. In 2010, a federal judge ordered him immediately released, but the government appealed that decision. The US government has never charged him with a crime. He remains imprisoned in Guantánamo. "

Being held without being charged is of course a violation of a person's constitutional rights.

Visibility will free this man. It doubles every two years. Visibility may also detain "William the torturer", the person who interrogated him.

This is, after all, America. 

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