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One of my poems goes: The next one and a half pages are redacted.
May 1, 2013 3:04 AM   Subscribe

The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story. [ht homunculus]
posted by jaduncan (16 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a great post though I just wanted to mention that homunculus is indeed pretty awesome at the tail ends of threads, thanks homunculus!
posted by Blasdelb at 3:10 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm very glad to see this getting its own thread. I read through the diaries and they're extraordinary.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:30 AM on May 1, 2013


The big problem that we ran into, like I said, was, “What can we charge him with?” There really is nothing I know of that you could charge Slahi with at Guantánamo. Which puts him in one of two categories: Either he is an indefinite detainee—and I don’t know what the administration plans to do with those folks, particularly as the war winds down, since we’ve always used the war as justification for indefinite detention—or he’s among the ones they want to transfer out. If it’s the latter, I don’t know what the plan is; I don’t know if Mauritania wants him back, or if another country would be willing to take him. But I think we’ve got some obligation to figure out some solution for him. I mean, the guy’s clearly been mistreated and spent more than a decade of his life in prison, so it would be kind of tough just to walk him out to the gate and say, “Have a nice life.” We owe him some help in having a life.

Why not give him a donut and tell him to stick closer to church-oriented social activities?

You would expect the military to conclude that until they can make this guy whole, the best thing to do is to keep him in the cage.
posted by three blind mice at 4:31 AM on May 1, 2013


You would expect the military to conclude that until they can make this guy whole, the best thing to do is to keep him in the cage.

I'm not sure that I would conclude that the best way to deal with someone imprisoned without charge for a decade is to further detain them.
posted by jaduncan at 4:38 AM on May 1, 2013


Green card and a small pension and a condo in the city of his choosing in the US.
posted by humanfont at 4:38 AM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


A big pension, actually.
posted by lydhre at 6:16 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by Slothrup at 7:10 AM on May 1, 2013


There literally is no way to make whole innocent people whom we have subjected to illegal detention and torture. There is no way to guarantee that their stories, made public, will not provoke additional attacks against the U.S. There is no way to ensure that certain of the detainees, driven to desperation or even to insanity by years of detention and torture, will not harm someone in retaliation upon their release.

And yet keeping these people imprisoned (aside from being utterly morally deplorable) also undermines the image of the U.S. in the world and provides ready justification for attacks against Americans. And keeping these people imprisoned in a military facility, in particular, encourages a rotating cast of young, impressionable U.S. soldiers to treat other people from certain religious and ethnic backgrounds as less than human, which has had rippling cultural consequences throughout the U.S. military that continue to contribute to a dangerously permissive attitude toward illegal, immoral violence against non-American civilians trapped in war's crossfire, which also undermines the image of the U.S. in the world and provides ready justification for attacks against Americans.

You'd almost think that the powerful people who sanctioned the capture, detention without trail, and torture of people who had committed no crimes against the U.S., solely on the basis of their location, religion, and ethnicity, wanted to sow the seeds of perpetual war. Wouldn't you?
posted by BlueJae at 7:11 AM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


And yet keeping these people imprisoned (aside from being utterly morally deplorable) also undermines the image of the U.S. in the world...

on the contrary, it illustrates just who we are.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:20 AM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


You'd almost think that the powerful people who sanctioned the capture, detention without trail, and torture of people who had committed no crimes against the U.S., solely on the basis of their location, religion, and ethnicity, wanted to sow the seeds of perpetual war. Wouldn't you?

It's not solely based on that. They also paid large amounts of cash money to anyone who'd make a claim that a neighbour/relative/person they dislike/business rival was a terrorist, which was a methodology sure to result in very few false positives.
posted by jaduncan at 7:39 AM on May 1, 2013


I didn't say it undermines the reality, ennui.bz. Just the image we claim we'd like to project.
posted by BlueJae at 7:57 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting this, jaduncan. It certainly does deserve it. (Though I actually posted the link in this related thread.)

And you're quite welcome, Blasdelb.
posted by homunculus at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rachel Maddow: Supine Congress oddly assertive in defense of Guantanamo prison

Conditions deteriorate in Guantanamo prison

Carol Rosenberg's Guantanamo reporting previously.
posted by homunculus at 11:04 AM on May 1, 2013


Slahi getes mentioned in Why We Defend Terrorists
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2013


Guantanamo Attorney Found Dead in Apparent Suicide
posted by homunculus at 4:36 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Guantánamo Bay hunger strike worsens
posted by homunculus at 10:54 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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