Seven Years Of Guantánamo, And A Call For Justice At Bagram

By Andy Worthington
Buy Viagra Online Pharmacy No Prescription Needed title=”guantanamojan023″ buy levitra vardenafil Tadalis SX Online Cialis buy Cialis”>Brand Cialis src=”” Buy Viagra, Buy Cialis, Buy Levitra Without Prescription alt=”" width=”240″ height=”166″ />On Sunday 11 January, just nine days before the viagera href=””>levitra online pharmacy administration of George W. Bush hands over the reins of power to Barack Obama, the “War on Terror” prison at Guantánamo — perhaps the most bleakly iconic symbol of the outgoing administration’s levofloxacin Buy nolvadex online hubris — marks its seventh anniversary.

A lawless experiment

The facts about the prison make for grim reading. A lawless experiment in arbitrary detention and coercive interrogations, Guantánamo was deliberately chosen as the location for the prison because it was presumed to be beyond the reach of the US courts.

The authorities decided that they needed complete freedom to interrogate the buy generic online viagra prisoners as they saw fit, even though they did not know who they actually had in their custody. The warnings that emerged from the mouths of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the days and weeks following the opening of Guantánamo — in which they described the prisoners as “the worst of the worst,” who were “among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth”  — were in fact hollow rhetoric.

As a study of Pentagon documents by the Seton Hall Law cheap ampicillin buy 424 buy viagra | where to buy cialis without prescription | order online levitra School demonstrated (PDF) — and as I can confirm from my own research buy acomplia online buy cialis phentermine for The Guantánamo Files — at least 86 percent of the prisoners were captured not by US forces, but by their Afghan and Pakistani allies, at a time when bounty payments for “al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects,” averaging $5000 a head, were widespread, and the US authorities compounded the baleful effects of this essentially indiscriminate dragnet by refusing to grant the prisoners battlefield tribunals under Article 5 of the Geneva Conventions. Held close to the time and place of capture, these had been implemented in every US war since Vietnam, and allowed witnesses to come forward to help the military separate combatants from civilians caught up in the fog of war.

Further compounding these omissions, levitra online those Cialis Professional in overall charge of the lists of prisoners held for processing at shop zithromax prisons in Kandahar and Bagram (senior figures from the Pentagon, Online Viagra buy the military and the intelligence services, who were based in Kuwait) ordered that ever Arab who came into US hands was to be transferred to Guantánamo. As a result, not a single prisoner was ever adequately screened to ascertain if they actually constituted a threat to the US, or were innocent buy cytotec online men seized by mistake, but the Bush administration insisted that they were all “enemy combatants” without rights, and deliberately stripped them of the protections of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit “cruel or inhuman treatment,” to facilitate their interrogation.

Approving torture

The true horror of Guantánamo — and, it should be noted, of the “War on Terror” detention policies in general — became apparent when the administration responded to the meagre flow of intelligence from the Guantánamo prisoners by deciding that this was because they had been trained to resist interrogation by al-Qaeda, and not because, as innocent men and simple Taliban recruits, they had no intelligence to offer. As a highly critical Senate Armed Services buy proscar Committee inquiry made clear last month (buy cialis generic online href=”” buy cialis professional buy clomid nolvadex target=”_self”>PDF), the authorities’ response was to find new ways to “break” the prisoners psychologically, which they did by reverse engineering Chinese viagra brand torture techniques taught in US military schools to train American personnel to resist interrogation if captured.

These techniques, known by the acronym SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), include “stripping detainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, disrupting their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures.” In some circumstances, they also include buy real viagra without prescription Cialis online target=”_self”>waterboarding, a notorious buy cialis overseas torture technique, which involves controlled drowning.

The members of the Senate Committee were outraged that techniques that are illegal under the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention Against Torture, and that are designed to enable buying propecia US personnel to produce false confessions, formed the basis of the Bush administration’s online amoxil approach to intelligence gathering in the “War on Terror,” but the policy’s many critics (including the amoxicillin amoxil FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Defense Department’s own Criminal Investigative Buy Antibiotics medications Task Force) were brushed aside.

Moreover, when the administration felt that even harsher techniques viagra online were required for a smaller number of prisoners Silagra Buy Viagra, Buy Cialis, Buy Levitra Without Prescription regarded as particularly significant (both in Guantánamo and in secret prisons established by the CIA), lawyers close to Vice President price levitra target=”_self”>Dick Cheney — led by David Addington, Cheney’s former legal counsel, and now his chief of staff — attempted to redefine torture as the infliction of pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious buy Drugstore cheap Ampicillin online physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death,” as a replacement for its definition under the UN Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, in which torture is correctly recognized as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.”

In terms of producing “actionable intelligence,” of course, the administration’s policy was an unmitigated disaster, as even the most cursory study of sanofi acomplia the history of torture reveals that it yields inaccurate information, and in Guantánamo this steady flow Viagra professional of coerced falsehoods was supplemented by further lies produced by bribery, as other prisoners took advantage of the promise of better living conditions to tell lies about their fellow inmates. It was, however, sufficient for the administration to claim to the world that the prison was full of dangerous “enemy combatants,” amoxicillin who could be held without charge or trial until the end of a “War on Terror” that the government itself admitted may last for generations.

Guantánamo now

For the prisoners still held at Guantánamo — 248 out of a total of 779 — conditions have Viagra online improved to the extent that the SERE-derived torture techniques came to an end in the summer of 2004, when the US Supreme Court granted the prisoners habeas corpus rights (the right to challenge the basis of their detention before an impartial buy generic levitra buy cialis internet judge), and lawyers were finally buy cialis fast shipping allowed access to cheap amoxil the prison. In other ways, however, Guantánamo remains an affront to all notions of decency.

Tadacip title=”A cell in Guantanamo’s Camp 6″ src=”” alt=”" width=”256″ height=”171″ />The majority of the prisoners are now held in almost complete isolation in state-of-the-art cellblocks modelled on maximum-security prisons on the US mainland, order viagra online their opportunities to socialize or indulge in any of the leisure activities that convicted criminals on the mainland take for granted remain minimal or non-existent, and even the most minor infringements of the prison’s rules are punished with brutal assaults by armoured response teams, and imprisonment –- for a month or more –- in total solitary confinement.

In addition, those who embark on hunger strikes as their only means of protesting their conditions of confinement are force-fed Provigil online No prescription against their will, an experience that is both horribly painful and illegal. Disturbingly, the latest reports indicate that 30 prisoners are buy cialis canadian amoxicillin amoxil href=”” flagyl price target=”_self”>currently on hunger strike, complaining about the fact that they remain imprisoned without charge Cialis or trial while buy cialis online cheap cheap Without Prescription online diflucan buy Ampicillin target=”_self”>Salim Hamdan, a driver for Osama bin Laden who was levitra drugs target=”_self”>convicted of providing material support for terrorism after a trial by Military Commission last summer, was repatriated in November to serve out the last month of his sentence.


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