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The Poison of Guantanamo Will Spread Until Its Prisoners Are Set Free


The Poison of Guantanamo Will Spread Until Its Prisoners Are Set Free

Victoria Brittain

Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Tariq Ba Odah come from Mauritania and Yemen respectively – two countries that have played a bit-part role in the US “war on terror”.

Both men have not seen their homes or families for almost 15 years, as they have been detained without charge at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba.

Mohamedou, the celebrated author of a diary detailing his detention, and Tariq, who has been on an unbroken hunger strike for eight years, exemplify the poison of injustice that Guantanamo has injected into the veins of the Middle East and beyond.


Thank you for the poignant article and many powerful insights, Ms. Brittain.

From the article:

"two years ago, President Obama, a lawyer, spoke at the height of a mass hunger strike in Guantanamo: “Imagine a future – 10 years from now, or 20 years from now – when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not a part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are holding a hunger strike. Is that who we are? Is that something that our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children? Our sense of justice is stronger than that.”

I think this comment by the U.S. President serves as Exhibit A in my indictment of the erroneous use of the WE clause.

Here is a President who arguably has the power to close this horrific offshore prison camp, but instead does nothing and uses the WE frame to suggest that somehow it's up to the American people to close this karmic black-hole down. The chief decider doesn't decide what's right, but then asks rhetorically if THIS is who WE are.

I mean... how much more ridiculous does the U.S. version of a political theater of the insanely absurd have to get to drive this felonious frame home?