Little Guantánamos
March 24, 2014 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Inside the Kafkaesque World of the US’s "Little Guantánamos" We sat together on her couch, her small, eight-year-old hands clutching a photo of her father, Yassin Aref. “My daddy only held me twice before I was five,” Dilnia told me. For the first five years of her life, she only knew him as the man on the other side of a plexiglass window in a communication management unit in an Indiana federal penitentiary. Prisoners describe the communication management units, or CMUs, as “Little Guantánamos.” In 2006, the Bureau of Prisons created two of these units to isolate and segregate specific prisoners, the majority of them convicted of crimes related to terrorism. The bureau secretly opened these units without informing the public and without allowing anyone an opportunity to comment on their creation, as required by law.
posted by jaduncan (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
An article linked from the main one, with further details:
'Little Gitmo'
When an upstate imam named Yassin Aref was convicted on a suspect terrorism charge, he was sent to a secretive prison denounced by civil libertarians as a Muslim quarantine.

posted by Joe in Australia at 7:34 PM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aaaaand the Hoooooooome... of the... BRaaaaaaaaaaave!.
posted by codswallop at 8:14 PM on March 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

"Hans, are we the baddies?"
posted by humboldt32 at 8:43 PM on March 24, 2014 [15 favorites]

How is it possible to read something like this without feeling sick?
posted by Slothrup at 8:52 PM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Is the rule of law still a thing anymore?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:58 PM on March 24, 2014 [8 favorites]

God bless Vice Magazine for evolving from hipster racism humor into doing some of the bravest reporting I have seen on our post-9/11 human rights nightmare.
posted by steinsaltz at 10:01 PM on March 24, 2014 [8 favorites]

Less than three days after McGowan published his article on the Huffington Post, the Bureau of Prisons remanded him into custody for “publishing under his own byline,”

Is it standard that authoring a piece about how you were treated by the DoJ is a violation of probation or parole? Or was this a particular condition of McGowen's release, given his tendency to be "political" and his particular interest in prisoners' rights? Either way, that seems incredibly fucked up. I know that an inmate is not allowed to profit off of publishing the details of his/her crimes, but surely talking to the press about abuses you've suffered falls into a different category?
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 10:35 PM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

4% of earth's population.

25% of its prisoners.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:46 PM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

The only self-evident Truth displayed here is this:
You're fucked when they say you are fucked.

We The People have created this monster. We share responsibility. Maybe, if we are lucky, we can sort this out and set it right without paying to terrible a price. But the powerful have little regard for the fragile nature of the planet, and are likely to destroy everything in attempt to cling to their stolen loot.

Maybe we will be the gods of future legends, when stories are told around camp fires of sky people who flew on wings of steel. Perhaps they will be reviled as eaters of children and belchers of filth. Probably not inappropriate.
posted by Goofyy at 11:04 PM on March 24, 2014

Horrendous. I can only hope that nothing like this could happen in my country. Oh hang on... it does...
posted by greenhornet at 11:21 PM on March 24, 2014

This is not punishment, it is something else. It isn't sound management practice. it is something else. It isn't even incarceration.

It's entombment-above ground burial if you will- and if one has either a conscience or even a wisp of humanity must be recognize it for what it is--torment for the sake of torment. Call it by it true name--torture and thus rather typical of recent American governments style. High tech, very expensive cages. The US gulag has been growing since 1970 when virulent racism, classism and bigotry against the poor became fashionable. It shows an inability, or unwillingness, to make reasoned judgments about risk and lets paranoid thoughts set policy. typical. The arrest and imprison and torment mentality is evidence of a society feeding on itself.
posted by SteveLaudig at 12:04 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's like they want us to just give up…

He may not be listening — or more likely agrees with it because, ya know, Dangerous Muslim Terrorists™ or some shit — but I'll write my congressman and tell him I'm pissed anyway.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:07 AM on March 25, 2014

Someone must have traduced them
posted by thelonius at 2:53 AM on March 25, 2014

I know that an inmate is not allowed to profit off of publishing the details of his/her crimes, but surely talking to the press about abuses you've suffered falls into a different category?

One would imagine it would be especially clearly differentiated in this case; the Huffington Post don't pay their blog writers.
posted by jaduncan at 4:34 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

> We The People have created this monster. We share responsibility.

The fact that a plurality of voters - but a distinct minority of total voters, who represent some fraction of the people living in the US - chose some political candidates who were more law-and-order than necessarily absolutely does not shift the blame from these crimes away from the criminals who ordered and committed these crimes and onto everyone else.

We've been seeing this idea repeated time and again these days - for example, that we're all responsible for BP's crimes because we all are forced to buy gasoline. In my mind, it's the final resort of our rulers who don't have any other way to justify their immoral and corrupt behavior - "I'm not responsible, everyone else is!"

Don't buy into this crap. Just because you're forced to live in this corrupt society doesn't mean you're responsible for it. Our rulers reap the huge rewards, they should be taking the blame for their own failures.

Don't sink into guilt - take that guilt and turn it into action. Never let them slough off the consequences of their actions onto you.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:15 AM on March 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

Just took the plunge and signed up for monthly contributions to the ACLU. Should have done it years ago, really. But lupus_yonderboy's comment finally got me to commit.
posted by skoosh at 6:58 PM on March 27, 2014

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