Posted by Bob Lord
I posted a few days back on the Obama administration's use of torture at Guantanamo. This a follow-up.
I'm part way through Jeremy Scahill's, Dirty Wars, and came upon this quote from Lawrence Wilkerson, describing the reliance by Special Ops forces on faulty intelligence:
You go in and you get some intelligence, and usually your intelligence comes through this apparatus too, and so you say, 'Oh, this is really good actionable intelligence. Here's "Operation Blue Thuder." Go do it.' And they go do it, and they kill 27, 30, 40 people, whatever, and they capture seven or eight. Then you find out that the intelligence was bad and you killed a bunch of innocent people and you have a bunch of innocent people on your hands, so you stuff 'em in Guantanamo. No one knows anything about that. (emphasis mine)
When you put that next to what's happened with the Guantanamo detainees, it's ugly. Ugly as in "this is what the history books will say about America 50 years from now."
These "prisoners" have been subjected to harsh, often inhumane conditions. They've been denied trials for over a decade. They've been subjected to demeaning searches,to the point they don't want to see their attorneys for fear of additional searches.
And why won't we release them? Not because of anything they were convicted of doing. Heck, we know at this point they didn't do anything to harm the U.S. We won't release them because we fear some may seek vengeance. So, do we at least improve their conditions, given that they never should have been locked up in the first place? No, we continue to treat them as prisoners.
Ultimately, they go on hunger strike. The message in that hunger strike is clear: "Either give us our freedom or at least allow us one shred of dignity and let us die."
And what does the Obama administration do? Does it fight the crazy teabaggers and do the right thing and release these human beings who have had their rights trampled upon for a decade or more? No. Does it grant them the wish to die with dignity? No. Instead, the Obama administration makes the ultimate cowardly choice — it tortures them. It jams feeding tubes down their throats. It medicates them against their will with substances that may well permanently damage them.
And what do we, the citizens of the "greatest country in the world," do? Nothing. We do nothing, here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.