Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel in The New York Times on his detention at Guantánamo Bay “I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial,” expalins Yemeni detainee Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, who was captured in Pakistan under the suspicion that he served as a guard for Osama bin Laden. Henceforth denied a trial, he describes, through a translated phone call to his lawyers, the disturbing treatment he undergoes in retaliation for the ongoing hunger strike at the prison: “I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before.” He places specific blame on President Obama, who promised to close the Gitmo prison: “The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being, not a passport, and I deserve to be treated like one.” Glenn Greenwald called the letter “one of the most powerful Op-Eds ever.”…
US Department of Defense doctors and psychologists at Guantanamo Bay have covered up evidence of torture at the facility, the authors of a new study say. Former and current detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba have been repeatedly abused and tortured, according to a new study published online on Tuesday in the open-access journal PloS Medicine. The two non-governmental experts who wrote the report found that medical and psychological evaluations basically proved the allegations of torture and abuse going on at Gitmo. Study author Vincent Iacopino, the senior medical adviser to the non-profit Physicians for Human Rights, said that broken bones and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder were consistently glossed over by Department of Defense medical professionals at the camp. “The pattern of neglecting the physical and psychological evidence of torture is striking. It appears to us that this was an essential component of enabling torture,” Iacopino stated.
June 24, 2007: The Associated Press’s Elizabeth White reports on a speech by Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, then a junior Illinois Senator, to a crowd in Texas. “We’re going to close Guantanamo. And we’re going to restore habeas corpus,” Obama says. “We’re going to lead by example—not just by word but by deed. That’s our vision for the future.”
January 22, 2009: Freshly inaugurated President Obama signs an executive order to close the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility within one year. He says the action is meant to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism.” In the summer of 2009, he grants a six-month extension to the Guantánamo closing commission.
December 15, 2009: The President tells federal authorities to acquire a prison in Thompson, Illinois as Guantánamo’s replacement. The idea is to transfer Gitmo prisoners to this super-maximum security facilites and shut down the controversial Cuban prison. Not-in-my-backyard rage and fear over terrorists within U.S. borders ensues.
May 19, 2010: The House Armed Services Committee rejects the Obama administration’s plan to bring Guantánamo detainees into domestic prisons by approving legislation that prohibits detention centers inside the U.S.
March 7, 2011: President Obama signs another executive order, this one focussed on creating a review process for detainees. The goal is to “establish, as a discretionary matter, a process to review on a periodic basis the executive branch’s continued, discretionary exercise of existing detention authority in individual cases.” In the same breath, he re-institutes military tribunals for detainees.
April 23, 2011: The plan to prosecute September 11th mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal court falls apart, with Attorney General Eric Holder informing the president that KSM would be returned to Guantánamo Bay for trial. A report in The Washington Post claims this move will “mark the effective abandonment of the president’s promise to close the military detention center.”
Septemberg 29, 2012: The last westerner held at Guantánamo, Omar Khadr, is sent back to Canada after serving eight years for murder in violation of the law of war and other charges.
January 28, 2013: The State Department shuts down the office of the envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Obama at first thought the President of the USA was a powerful person. He had big plans. Then he found out that he is a tool. That’s the way it seems. Someone much more powerful wanted Gitmo open, so it still is.