Wednesday 24 April 2013

Exposing government corruption and abuses in human rights, and supporting direct action protests. Censorship be damned.

A death at Guantanamo on the eve of 9/11 and a cry for humanity.

It’s time we demand answers on Guantanamo, and demand its closure.
Don’t blindly swallow your government’s nationalistic religion. Chew it first and if it tastes bad, spit it out. Any action you see that is morally questionable should be examined closely and critically. The actions at Guantanamo do not stand up to humanitarian criticisms, and it needs to be closed. 
On this day for the past 11 years, we have listened to the bagpipes and bugles in honor of our fallen first responders and those who died on the attacks of 9/11, but today that isn’t why this is a solemn day for me. It’s solemn because I have realized that after 9/11, we responded to terror with terror. The terror that was visited upon us, also infected us, and that sickness has been visited upon the world in the days since in the form of wide-scale war, torture, and new laws that vindicate immoral, inhumane actions.
A disturbing perception has propagated throughout the United States in recent times.  That is, that the people held at Guantanamo Bay are “enemy combatants”, and because of this characterization aren’t and shouldn’t be afforded the full rights and privileges of humane treatment that “normal” POWs are supposed to be given. We see this trend laid out in numerous articles, with all the backing and authority of the state behind it. This thinking is akin to a massive, country-wide Milgram experiment. The government is trying to justify the need to treat these people by a code of conduct that by all accounts is inhumane. They do this by continually asserting that these people are less than human, by telling us that these people deserve punishment, and that the punishment must continue. They flex their authoritative muscle here, and in doing this, they are somewhat successful in subverting our moral objections.

I do not agree and cannot, in good conscience, continue to characterize these prisoners as “enemy combatants.” When we declare no official theater of war, it makes it all too easy for governments to claim anyone they want is an enemy combatant, and then subject them to any treatment they seem fit. This is how inhumane acts against man are made legal.
On the eve of this 9/11, a report came out that the 9th prisoner of war has died in our custody at Guantanamo Bay. Rest assured that there will be no transparency in reporting the events surrounding the death of this prisoner, or previous ones, unless we start demanding answers from our leaders.
Previous attempts to understand what is happening at Guantanamo have largely failed, resulting in mostly redacted reports that leave them unreadable. 

A report by Harper's Magazine investigative Journalist Scott Horton paints a picture in stark contrast to what the US Government wants the world to believe. Reports of a black site at Guantanamo, conflicting reports by guards who were present at previous deaths and odd actions by NCIS - namely that the investigation in previous deaths did not include an interview of the guards on duty. This article by Harper’s is required reading http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/01/hbc-90006368

What’s needed is a wider realization that nothing will change until there is will - and there is action in the direction of that will. It’s up to us to seek out actions that will bring attention to the inhumane treatment of prisoners, and generate pressure to close  Guantanamo for good. Today, 9/11, is the perfect day to act, when the cruelty of man is at the forefront of our minds.
In case you haven’t seen the speech from “The Great Dictator”, please watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnnzC5squKA

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