As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.
Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
In Gitmo Opinion, Two Versions of Reality. "When Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the release of a Guantánamo Bay detainee last spring, the case appeared to be a routine setback for an Obama administration that has lost a string of such cases. But there turns out to be nothing ordinary about the habeas case brought by Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a Yemeni held without charges for nearly eight years. Uthman, accused by two U.S. administrations of being an al-Qaida fighter and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, is among 48 detainees the Obama administration has deemed too dangerous to release but 'not feasible for prosecution.' A day after his March 16 order was filed on the court's electronic docket, Kennedy's opinion vanished. Weeks later, a new ruling appeared in its place. While it reached the same conclusion, eight pages of material had been removed, including key passages in which Kennedy dismantled the government's case against Uthman."
Detainee 063. This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay.
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald has new evidence. Previously.
Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo as it has often been called, has a long and sordid history of human rights abuses and those that have spent some time there have more than their fair share of stories to tell. But it looks as thought it's all coming to a close as in a major interview with 60 Minutes, Obama has vowed to shut down Guantanamo Bay and rebuild "America's moral stature in the world." [more inside]
The Black Sites. "A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program."
Now, as an increasing number of detainees mount legal challenges to their incarceration, TIME is making the record of al-Qahtani's treatment available to the public in its entirety [pdf]. Also read the companion Time article about Mohammad al-Qahtani, the so-called "20th hijacker."
While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.Regarding the Torture Papers, which detail Torture's Paper Trail, and, then there's Hungry for Air: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
Is this really the best idea the military can think of? Today's NY Times provides details on some methods used to extract the truth from Iraqi prisoners, including (I'm not making this up) audio tapes played loudly with "songs by Lil' Kim and Rage Against the Machine and rap performances by Eminem played loudly," and "a mix of babies crying and the television commercial for Meow Mix in which the jingle consists of repetition of the word 'meow'." Wouldn't sodium pentathol or some other chemical persuasion be more effective, while providing less fodder for Leno and Letterman?