Why Russell Brand is banned in Guantanamo Bay.
December 19, 2013 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Clive amuses himself (and me) by testing what the censors will let through.
I have been cleared to leave here for over half of my time behind bars – first by the Bush administration in 2007 and then by the Obama government in 2009 – and yet I remain here. - Shaker Aamer.
posted by adamvasco (21 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
From Aamer's Wikipedia entry (and the article):

"He was cleared for release by the Bush administration in 2007, and the Obama administration in 2009[13] but remains in Guantánamo."


How the hell does that work?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:18 PM on December 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Christ. I wonder if they'd let in any Kafka.
posted by insufficient data at 3:24 PM on December 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


How the hell does that work?

"Cleared" probably does not mean "Let him out". It simply means "If you're done with him, you can let him go." Someone doesn't want him out.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:00 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well that's pretty lame. I don't imagine it would take much more than a phone call from the Prez to the commander of the prison.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2013


These anonymous senatorial holds are really getting out of hand.
posted by one weird trick at 4:44 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Cleared" probably does not mean "Let him out". It simply means "If you're done with him, you can let him go." Someone doesn't want him out.

"Someone" could the governments of The United Kingdom (where he is a resident) or Saudi Arabia (where he is a citizen). It's not like the guards open the gate and Aamer catches a bus to the Havana airport.
posted by sideshow at 4:48 PM on December 19, 2013


Well, why not? Seriously, his confinement makes a mockery of the US Constitution and that country's commitment to human rights. Just open the damn door and let him out.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:02 PM on December 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


Christ. I wonder if they'd let in any Kafka.

Molly Crabapple has been to Guantanamo numerous times and specifically looked for Kafka in the library. There isn't any.

Harry Potter is very popular.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stuff of fucking nightmares.
posted by Broseph at 5:17 PM on December 19, 2013


"Someone" could the governments of The United Kingdom (where he is a resident) or Saudi Arabia (where he is a citizen). It's not like the guards open the gate and Aamer catches a bus to the Havana airport.

At least publicly, the government of the United Kingdom has asked for him to be released.

Whether there is somebody else within the UK stopping it, I don't know.
posted by Thing at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2013


A couple of quotes from Mr. Aamer's Wikipedia entry probably go a long way to explaining his continued incarceration:
Clive Stafford Smith...
"I have known Shaker for some time, because he is so eloquent and outspoken about the injustices of Guantanamo he is very definitely viewed as a threat by the US. Not in the sense of being an extremist but in the sense of being someone who can rather eloquently criticise the nightmare that happened there."

Omar Deghayes, a former Guantanamo Detainee who knew Aamer, said of him,
"He was always forward, he would translate for people, he'd fight for them, and if he had any problems in the block he'd shout at the guards... until he would get you your rights. And that's why he's still in prison... because he's very outspoken, a very intelligent person, somebody who would fight for somebody else's rights."

I wonder if Machiavelli is on the banned list.
posted by islander at 6:53 PM on December 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


How people keep forgetting this is an ongoing travesty is beyond me. A quick call from the President? Are you kidding me?
posted by odinsdream at 7:28 PM on December 19, 2013


> A quick call from the President? Are you kidding me?

If you recall, the man we elected in 2008 was claiming to be that sort of person. How I wish we had Candidate Obama in office instead of this impostor.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:29 PM on December 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


At an event recently, someone told me how disappointed they were that Obama took a selfie at a state funeral. I remember reacting with "Really? That is your disappointment? There are still people held at Guantanamo Bay without trail on all sorts of false charges. My disappointment is that Obama did not let everyone out and burn down Guantanamo Bay in his first week of office!"
posted by greenhornet at 12:17 AM on December 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure I like the idea of having a President with enough powers to by his sole will defy Congressional laws. Granted, I'm ALSO not happy with the laws Congress has passed which lead to Guantanamo Bay, but I don't think making the President EVEN MORE powerful is a viable or sensible answer to the problem.

Obama is, as well, a Centrist; Centrist Right, even (I was never happy that Candidate Obama was pro-war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I wasn't surprised when President Obama had the same beliefs) he wants to work within the mandate of the Presidency instead of markedly adding to it's powers. This was particularly visible in how he handled Don't Ask, Don't Tell - where he had the Military Brass spearhead overturning the law instead of doing it through Presidential Fiat. It was a masterful bit of manipulation, but it was hardly flashy or showy.
posted by Deoridhe at 2:31 AM on December 20, 2013


I wonder how The God Delusion would have gone down.
posted by vbfg at 2:54 AM on December 20, 2013


Who chooses what books a supposedly free man can and cannot read?
To me this is another lowpoint in how far the rule of law has fallen, made even more poignent by the slogan in the photo; Honour Bound to Defend Freedom, which is complete propaganda bullshit as there is neither honour nor freedom here.
Maybe prison warden Col John Bogdan would like to comment.
Navy Rear Adm. Richard Butler, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, said he agreed with Obama’s pledge to shut down the detention facility.
posted by adamvasco at 4:40 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just finished the 76 hour "history of Rome" podcast. Not much has changed since then.

If people in power don't like you then "law" doesn't count for much.
posted by EnterTheStory at 5:11 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Cleared" means he passes as a suitable organ donor for Dick Cheney. Gitmo is his own personal organ bank. How could could he be alive?
posted by Renoroc at 5:27 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The United Kingdom (where he is a resident)

At this point, wouldn't it be fair to say that he is a permanent resident of the United States?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:41 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Standard Response: "Hans, are we the baddies?"
posted by humboldt32 at 10:37 AM on December 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


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