Guantanamo Bay

The detainees: out of sight, out of mind

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Everyone can see GTMO as an entity, but as far as Americans are aware, inside GTMO may as well be a black hole.

This dehumanises the detainees, the very term “detainee” is a wonderful euphemism for the Bush administration, it really doesn’t sound that bad. “Tortured hostages to Bush’s phony war” might be better although it would be a pain in the ass to have to type that every time.

If I was a detainee I would wonder what the outside world that I used to inhabit might be saying about me. I would try not to let the thought that I might be forgotten enter my mind. I would probably be hoping against hope that a lot of people knew of my plight and knew who I was. I might be devastated to know how little a talking point in America and the rest of the world I had become.

Senators that I watch on c-span (don’t bother with the House) in their hearings are the worst of the worst when it comes to being blind to what is in front of them, and this goes for Repugs and Dems alike. They continually talk about all the terrorist that are held in GTMO, never once acknowledging any of the information that is leaking out of GTMO by way of lawyers who visit detainee clients and then speak out, or by way of the documents that have been released by the Pent. as a result of FOIA law suits.

What is worse and completely mind blowing to me, these Senators are the guys that get to visit GTMO. In the “Hamdan, wtf do we do now” hearing on July 11th, Durbin says he was at GTMO over the weekend and he personally witnessed a detainee that was being interrogated laughing and joking with his interrogator, “But he was giving good information”, he quickly adds. How daft a statement is that? After 4 years and 70,000 interrogations these detainees are still coughing up the goods? That must be one hell of a machiavellian terror plot they were hatching!

Everyone should know by now, GTMO has an interrogation booth set up where the V.I.P. stands behind a glass panel and can watch a “live” interrogation in action, put on to impress the V.I.P. The impresarios down at GTMO that are in charge of light entertainment must think that V.I.P. stands for “Very Impressionable Person” and in the case of the visiting Members of Congress, they would be right.

What chance do the American public have of being cognisant of who the detainees are that are held at GTMO? Whatever chance there may be, the situation is certainly not helped any by elected representatives who refuse to deviate from the official line “that everyone is a terrorist” put out by the Bush administration.

I am not saying …
… that all detainees held at GTMO are innocent of all crimes — though 90 percent probably are from all that I have read.

What I am saying is that the way GTMO is setup and run has the makings of a Human Rights catastrophe, and to correct this the following needs to be done:

  • Due process in the conventionally accepted use of the term, not the twisted US Department of Defense’s version, afforded all the detainees so that they can either be released or appropriately sentenced.

  • An improved effort on the part of the DoD to provide more openness and accountability. What right does the DoD have to disappear individuals in full public view, to date the DoD’s openness/accountability effort sucks to put it politely.

  • An end to treating detainees as expendable punching bags.

This would require DoD to make a 180 degrees reversal of their present policies, something they are hardly inclined to countenance unless public opinion and international pressure forces the issue.

Constructing mini biographies for the detainees.
This is the only way I can see to rehumanise those who have been dehumanised. The lawyers who concern themselves with detainee matters are severely hampered in what they can say because most everything that is relevant to a detainee biography is automatically classified secret, and only declassified in dribs and drabs. But the lawyers are the ones with the most information, and it would be a good idea for someone to attempt to make a start on such a project.


Written by mikk0

August 6, 2006 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Guantanamo

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