From the Washington Post in the USA:
January 3rd, 2007 3:02 am
FBI Reports Duct-Taping, ‘Baptizing’ at Guantanamo
By Dan Eggen
FBI agents witnessed possible mistreatment of the Koran at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including at least one instance in which an interrogator squatted over Islam’s holy text in an apparent attempt to offend a captive, according to bureau documents released yesterday.
In October 2002, a Marine captain allegedly squatted over a copy of the Koran during intensive questioning of a Muslim prisoner, who was “incensed” by the tactic, according to an FBI agent.
A second agent described similar events, but it is unclear from the documents whether it was a separate case.
In another incident that month, interrogators wrapped a bearded prisoner’s head in duct tape “because he would not stop quoting the Koran,” according to an FBI agent, the documents show.
The agent, whose account was corroborated by a colleague, said that a civilian contractor laughed about the treatment and was eager to show it off.
The reports amount to new and separate allegations of religiously oriented tactics used against Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
After an erroneous [really?] report of Koran abuse prompted deadly protests overseas in 2005, the U.S. military conducted an investigation that confirmed five incidents of intentional and unintentional mishandling the book at the detention facility.
They acknowledged that soldiers and interrogators had kicked the Koran, had stood on it and, in one case, had inadvertently sprayed urine on a copy.
According to Dutch NOS TV (translated):
According to the FBI agents, some prisoners lie with their hands and feet manacled in their own excrements.
Other prisoners do not get any food or drinking for hours, and a guard is said to have defecated on the koran.
The misbehaviour is similar to the misdemeanor by US American guards in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
See also here.
Guantanamo prisoner treated like dog: here.
‘Fuck’ written on koran: here.
Interview with sister of Guantanamo prisoner: here.
Merkel of Germany: Bush, close down Guantanamo Bay; see also here.
The [Pakistani] government has freed 17 former prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, who were detained on their return home to Pakistan, from Kot Lakhpat Jail here on Monday. They were finally freed after promising not to take part in militant activities, officials said. Most of the freed alleged that they had personally witnessed the desecration of the Holy Quran at the US jail: here.
June 28, 2005
Former Guantanamo prisoners freed by Pakistan allege Koran abuse
LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) – Seventeen former prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who were detained on their return home to Pakistan were freed, with many alleging they had witnessed the desecration of the Koran at the US jail.
The men came back to Pakistan around nine months ago after being cleared by US authorities. …
“American soldiers have been committing desecration of the holy Koran at Guantanamo,” Haifz Ehsan Saeed, 27, told AFP as he emerged from the central jail in the city of Lahore.
“There were various incidents. Once I saw them throw the Koran in a bucket full of urine and faeces,” he said.
Saeed said he was arrested four years ago in Afghanistan on charges of having links with the Al-Qaeda terror network.
He was kept in a jail run by brutal Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam and then shifted to Guantanamo.
“The Americans declared me innocent but yet I have been in prison for about nine months in Rawalpindi and Lahore after being released from Guantanamo Bay,” he said.
“I am not ashamed because I have not done any wrong act,” Saeed added.
Another freed prisoner, 25-year-old Muhammad Hanif, said he was tortured and his beard was forcibly shaved by the US troops at the military jail in Cuba.
“The Americans removed our beards and have been spitting over the holy book,” Hanif told AFP.
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 02:53:03 -0000
From: “Carl Davidson”
Subject: Marilyn Katz on Gitmo: No Apologies Needed for the Truth
No Apologies Needed for the Truth
By Marilyn Katz
Chicagoans Against War & Injustice
Our Senator, Dick Durbin, apologized a week ago, like Newsweek and Dan Rather before him – guilty of nothing more than telling the truth – the essential truth. Oh yes, perhaps Durbin’s analogies were not literally correct or exactly appropriate; just as perhaps American soldiers didn’t flush the Koran down the toilet – instead they peed on it, and performed other outrageous acts exposed by the FBI; just as perhaps Dan Rather didn’t get the exact papers that documented George Bush’s less than illustrious service record.
But each told the essential truth – yes, George Bush evaded combat service. Yes American soldiers desecrated the Koran (and by the way murdered over one hundred prisoners of war we know of, as well as untold thousands of civilians we don’t want to be bothered to count. Yes American soldiers have engaged in acts that — while not literally the same or on the same scale as those performed by the Nazis, the Soviets or Pol Pot — towards their prisoners of war and certainly not genocidal – are still the acts of an ignorant, arrogant and imperious mindset in those who directed and approved of them.
I can assure you that the kidnapping and detainment and sometimes death of those the U.S. defines as ‘enemies’ or “terrorists” has no more basis in law or no more moral value that the kidnapping, detainment and sometimes death that all wagers of unjust wars have meted out to their prisoners and other victims.
I do not blame the Bush Administration for turning the tables on Durbin and the rest; that’s their stock in trade. Why let the country talk about the atrocities in Guantanamo, Afghan or Iraqi prisons if you can make the issue the exact wording of the critiques? Why talk about the false premises of the war when you can make the issue ‘who leaked the Brits’ memos? If you are Karl Rove, this is what you get paid for.
But who I do blame for this sorry state of affairs? For starters, the established media and the Democratic Party leadership who have fallen head over heels into the Rove trap. Just at the time when the nation is questioning the war, instead of pushing the issues, too many Democratic officials decide to use the Rove ‘frame’ and critique their colleague on his use of language. Why? Because someone has convinced them that 1) ‘the Jews will be offended — this Jew, by the way, is not– and 2) that they will sound too radical.
As for the media, who the hell knows what is going on? A true fourth estate, rather than trashing the critics or covering the fight, might ask ‘is there validity to the charges made by Durbin, Rather or Newsweek. After all, just because we are ‘Americans’ and supposedly have a history of just wars (according to the history books from which we were taught) doesn’t’ mean that every war we’ve been in has been just or everything we do is moral and beyond question. Quite the contrary, as the old saying goes – if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it probably is one.
Perhaps the media has been mesmerized by Rove. More likely they are just scared. And that fact, ironically, provides even more substantiation to Durbin’s analogies – to say nothing of the Orwellian analogies from 1984 and Animal Farm.
Citizens and non-citizens alike arrested and detained without charges or counsel just because the “STATE” has declared them enemies? Bernadette Devlin, Cat Stevens, and countless more denied entry into the U.S. and others denied transit out. Trial by press release and news release of Muslims who are first charged (in the media) with terrifying terrorist schemes and in the end (and in small print) – after their families are torn asunder and their resources exhausted – are jailed or deported for technical infractions of a law which was not even in force (or existence when the supposed infractions took place) Teachers hounded out of jobs for what they say; businessmen ruined on innuendo; wiretapping; entrapment; kidnappings, advertisements passing as news; secret prisons all over the world.
Look at Condi Rice describing the forceful removal of demonstrators as a great demonstration of ‘freedom of speech’; invasion described as liberation; resistance as insurgency. While Bush’s America is not literally Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia or Pol Pot’s Cambodia, it sure looks a lot like a lot more of an Orwellian nightmare than any America that we’ve known in our lifetimes.
My generation grew up with the notion that when all else failed the media would be there to ask the questions; to raise the critique; to provide context and clarity through and beyond the obfuscations of politicians. If that is no longer true; if life as we experience it is not examined in the public square; then we are in far more serious trouble than even I have thought we are.
This is not a time to argue over nuance or niceties; it is time for truth – and the willingness to stand up for it. And the essential truth is this, that having been lied to by the Bush Administration about weapons of mass destruction and ties between Al Qaeda and Hussein, America was manipulated and intimidated into invading a nation without a plan for an effective war or peace (although I doubt that either was possible). The truth is that under the pretext of fighting ‘terrorism’ the Bush Administration has attempted to quell dissent and curb American’s freedoms as never before. The truth is that within the context of demonization of ‘the other’ that have characterized the Rumsfeld/Cheney/Wolf owitz rhetoric from the beginning, a number of American soldiers, often directed by higher-ups, have committed unspeakable atrocities against captive fighters and civilians alike.
The truth is that the Bush Administration has disregarded not only the United Nations, but the Geneva Convention and all other international rules of conduct. The truth is that the Bush Administration’s war on terror, war on Bin Laden, and war on Iraq may be failing, but they are winning their war on American society: forcing the costs and deaths of war on the nation’s poorest citizens, paying for their adventures with cutbacks on the essential elements of the nation’s strengths – public education, social welfare, and if they had their way, social security, and finally, by whatever means necessary, transforming a free media into a morass in which more space is given to discerning the truth of Michael Jackson’s sexual proclivities than is given to the realities or truths of war and its costs.
So I for one stand with the Durbins, the Newsweeks, and the Rathers, who may not get it exactly right, but get it essentially right. There is no question that in this atmosphere it is scary to ask questions, let alone dissent. But if history teaches us anything, let us be clear, that if we do not speak out now, it is likely that we will not only lose not only our voice, but even our ability to speak somewhere down the road.
[Marilyn Katz, an activist going back to SDS in the late 1960s, is a founder and co-chair of Chicagoans Against War & Injustice. She is also president of MK Communications, a widely respected public relations and public policy firm.]
Cuba’s Communist government…said the protesters can march
Posted by: “Corey” email@example.com cpmondello
Fri Jan 5, 2007 1:35 pm (PST)
How is it the Cuban government doesn’t attack, harrass and arrest protesters, but in the USA, protesters are constently harassed, attacked and arrested?
US activists plan Guantanamo jail protest in Cuba
04 Jan 2007 18:40:08 GMT
Full story; http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N04493340.htm
“Cuba’s Communist government — which has long condemned the prison camp run by its political enemy the United States — has said the protesters can march to the Cuban security fence surrounding the U.S. base”
Posted by: “Corey” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat Jan 6, 2007 4:11 pm (PST)
Drafted secretly and set to be finalized on Jan. 16
Military Commissions Act of 2006
Military Commissions Act: Bush Administration Gets It Wrong Again
Last September, Alliance for Justice launched a campaign against the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), then under consideration by Congress. The new bill, which is now law, authorized the special military trials and gave the President wide latitude in creating the rules governing their procedures. Right now they are being drafted secretly and set to be finalized on January 16. Unless these rules are developed in the open, no one will have confidence that the trials will be conducted in a fair and just manner.
TAKE ACTION: Defend the Constitution
Justice System Under Attack
Last September, Alliance for Justice launched a campaign against the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), then under consideration by Congress. One egregious provision in the bill – which we urged our supporters to oppose – eliminated habeas corpus rights and allowed the government to continue holding prisoners at Guantanamo indefinitely with no court review.
Congress considered the MCA because the Supreme Court had earlier ruled in the Hamdan case that the Guantanamo military trials contemplated by the administration were illegal. The new bill, which is now law, authorized the special military trials and gave the president wide latitude in creating the rules governing their procedures.
Unfortunately, unless these rules are developed in the open, no one will have confidence that the trials will be conducted in a fair and just manner. Right now these rules are being drafted secretly and are set to be finalized on January 16th.
We need you to urge your senators and representatives to make sure Congress extends the January 16th deadline and opens the rulemaking process up for public comment.
If left unchecked by Congress, the Bush administration could establish military trials with relaxed rules on hearsay and evidence obtained through coercion. Defendants could be convicted and sentenced to death on the basis of second-hand summaries of statements without any opportunity for defendants to confront their accusers.
NO TIME TO LOSE: The Bush administration plans to unveil and finalize the military commission rules on January 16th, with no input from Congress or the public.
Urge your senators and House members to support legislation allowing Congress to review the rules governing the military commissions.
To read the letter sent by the American Bar Association to the Pentagon, click here; http://www.afj.org/abamca.pdf
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