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After 13 Years with No Charges, British Prisoner at Gitmo Finally Released


#1

After 13 Years with No Charges, British Prisoner at Gitmo Finally Released

Jon Queally, staff writer


#2

Good luck, Mr. Aamer. I hope you can recover yourself from the wretched wreck that Gitmo's evil minions tried to make of you. It is hard to wrap one's mind around what you have been through from your perspective. December 12, 2000: a day that will live in infamy...


#3

One day, when former "detainees" like Mr. Shaker commit to putting their experiences down on paper, their stories will read like modern versions of the 19th century slave narrative. So many people in the Empire's gulags are folk who were swept up in the madness of war, and then kept prisoner for no other reason than they were "military-age" Muslim men, who came into the purview of invading American forces. Even if these people were under arms, resisting the American invaders, this does not make them "unlawful combatants." How does the invading army in an illegal war get to describe those who resist as "unlawful" belligerents? I never accepted the framing of the Guantanamo detention policy as the only way of dealing with the "worst of the worst." Guantanamo operates beyond any real measure of law; the US government is more or less unaccountable there. Guantanamo is a concentration-camp, analogous to a Stalinist prison. Many people have died there. Even the criminal US government admits that innocent people are being held there--some have been there for over a decade. This is nothing other than a policy of enslaving a certain class of people, who are stripped of all protections of the law. Guantanamo is a crime against humanity.

The facile "debate" that "detainees" must be held at Guantanamo because it is too dangerous to imprison them in the United States disguises the bigger question: by what right does the United States hold territory in a foreign country? Guantanamo is a crime against the Cuban people.

If we arrive at the day that Muslim people are rounded up and killed in the name of "national security," Guantanamo will be seen as a crucial part of the process of softening up the American people (both morally and politically) so that they are prepared to accept another holocaust. Some people will say that a genocide of Muslims will never happen, but these people are blind to reality: in some respects, it is already happening, as so many Muslim countries are literally falling apart, and nobody knows with any certainty what the future holds. I'm sure if you were alive in 1930, you never would have thought that Auschwitz was looming up ahead....


#7

Shaker has never seen his youngest son, hasn't seen his wife or other children in all this time, and has only spoken with his wife 3 times in thirteen years. During his illegal imprisonment, Shaker has been subjected to harsh interrogation (i.e. torture) and torturous forced feeding.

What compensation will the US government provide to Shaker and his his family for the time he spent illegally detained by the US government?

What supports will the US government provide to him to assist him in recovering for the torture and imprisonment that the US subjected him to?

What measures will be taken to prosecute those who played a role in Shaker's illegal detention and torture?


#8

All the while the budget deal gives the war effort another 33 billion in emergency funding.


#9

Where is Mr Aamer's just compensation for all his years as US prisoner in Gitmo? He was never guilty of anything and he deserves compensation to at least help make his life and his families partially whole again - he will never get-back the 13 years or fully escape his maltreatment! For the last 8 years he has been found innocent by US authorities and STILL he was not released!!?? The enormity of the actual crime against this man is mind-boggling - a real crime, not some fantasy; who will spend time in prison for that crime, or will it all be written-off as a "mistake" in the "fog of war"?


#10

Let me answer our inquiry. Emphatically No! Because of our..er.. I mean national security reasons. But we may let you see a redacted version that exculpates the US from torture.


#12

another piece of dastardly doing by this Amerika of ours. so ashamed of this country of ours. and what are the others who have been cleared for release still doing in that awful prison?


#14

Shame on the U.S. government for instigating Gitmo. How many others innocent of anything other than defending their country are in this hell hole being abused and mistreated? Israel has the very same procedure where they can just hold someone indefinitely with no charges against them, ever! What does that tell you America? Who is running our terrorist country? Because that is what America has become, brutalizing other nations benefiting the Tribal Oligarchs.


#15

No; they are not insane, no more than were the SS guards at the Nazi concentration camps. They were quite normal people who went home happily to their families at night. And therefore they are fully culpable before international law for crimes against humanity.


#16

At least Hitler had had the honesty to write 'Mein Kampf' to tell Germans what he wanted to do 10 years in advance of being elected to govern Germany. USAians got far less warning.


#18

And might we know the measures taken to make him sign it ?


#19

"Who is running our terrorist country ?" Terrorist Americans . The peoples of Latin America have had more than a century of experience dealing with them . The School of the Americas torture academy in Fort Benning , Georgia , had a long run for its money . Too many Maryknoll priests and nuns picketing the place has since forced a change of venue for torture training to Fort Huachaca AZ . The Bush crime syndicate dates back to at least Prescott Bush AKA Hitler's Angel (and W's grandpa) and moneylaunderer for the Nazis . His partner in the oil business was Osama Bin Laden's grandpa . 9/11 was allowed to happen - or made to happen - to benefit Big Oil and bring us control of the Iraqi oilfields . And to ram through the police state measures to make us the quasi-totalitarian nation we've become .
As for your sly insinuation that we're copying Israel's indefinite detention laws , ours preceded theirs . Your last dig about the Tribal Oligarchs reveals you for the Jew basher you really are . That's always their leitmotif : It's not us who are at fault . It's those evil Jews and that terrible country Israel .
I've noticed a trend recently to blame American police brutality - now that it's undeniable - on Israel , too . Since 1988 , some police special training either with American police chiefs going to Israel or Israeli instructors conducting workshops here , much of it centered on dealing with hostage-taking situations , car bombs and suicide bombers , has been ongoing . This has morphed into a Jew- bashing narrative that our sweet Officer Friendlys have been corrupted by those evil , violent Israelis . Police violence and police brutality and the blue wall of silence never existed in this country before . Never ever , no , not ever . It's not us - it's THEM .


#20

How does the invading army in an illegal war get to describe those who resist as "unlawful" belligerents?

Indeed.

But it wouldn't surprise me if the purpose of rendering Guantanamo "detainees" as "unlawful belligerents" was a message intended actually for American ears, really to serve notice on those citizens naively certain there would always be civilian over military rule in the U.S., left comfortably assuming TPTB would always pay lip service to founding principles of enlightenment rationalism, at least as far as laying out legitimate reasons for war and bothering to provide separate rationales for successive wars pertinent to that country, invoking reasonable grounds for holding prisoners at Guantanamo, even if no longer making a show trial of due process. Instead: undeclared martial lawlessness escalating by the day.

As for Mr. Shaker, I imagine that over and over he wondered why he had been arrested, what he was charged with, why he was still being held prisoner years after he had been released in writing . . . . questions rumbling through his mind for 13 years, which crawled at a snail's pace. Reasonable questions Americans would naturally ask--in fact, demand if finding themselves thrown into prison for equally nonsensical reasons.

Days, months, years sitting in the hall awaiting his turn before the judge, for the door marked law to open. Until just as inexplicably, after 13 arbitrary years, Joseph K. was freed.

Expecting logical explanations from educated Americans or the fair play of humans everywhere or reasons for why God fingered him rather than his neighbor or cousin or someone actually guilty--these just multiplied the torture he suffered tenfold, I imagine, leaving Mr. Shaker shaking like mad. Nevertheless why kept asking these terribly obvious questions year after year.

Only in the last year do I envision him finally putting away those childish expectations, the birthright of every American, that life would reliably make sense, that human nature consistently followed natural laws, too, that God looked out especially for him, would never betray him, that even if Kafka was the stuff of his nightmares he would always be safe and protected, treated exceptionally well.


#21

Oh yes, the "too dangerous to be held in the US" claim. So our super-max prisons amid 300-million people are helpless against a few handfuls of Guantanamo prisoners and yet in WWII some 425,000 hardened Nazi troops and other Axis troops were held as POWs in the continental US 700 camps in anything but super-max conditions with a population in the US of only 132-million or so. Less than 1% of them attempted escape. Most found their living conditions better than in their home country. Most dangers were to prisoners from other prisoners, mostly hard core Nazis captured early in the war when Germany was still seen as successful. Many such prisoners even worked on farms and other places during their time in the USA. And yet the current US is terrified of a comparative handful of Muslim prisoners.


#22

What they're (they being the government) terrified of is the truth coming out . You can bet your bottom dollar that the torture we've heard about so far is just the tip of the iceberg .
Furthermore , allowing them a fair shake in court would highlight the flimsiness or nonexistence of the evidence against them . This would bring up the obvious question of why the US government was/is so desperate to convict them that it tortured false confessions out of them . Leading in turn to the equally obvious answer that the government needed show trials and scapegoats to divert attention away from its own culpability for 9/11.