New book on Guantanamo torture camp


This video from the USA is called Meet Me In Guantanamo (Remix).

From British daily The Morning Star:

Betrayed for cash

(Sunday 03 August 2008)

My Guantanamo Diary by Mahvish Rukhsana Khan
(Public Affairs, £15.99)

IAN SINCLAIR hears Mahvish Khan’s stories of Guantanamo Bay.

Since the first detainees were transferred there from Afghanistan on January 11 2002, Guantanamo Bay has become the most notorious prison on earth.

Held indefinitely as “enemy combatants” with no recourse to the Geneva Conventions, prisoners face torture, either no trial at all or an unfair trial, no family visits, harsh conditions and often years of solitary confinement.

As the Amnesty International director has said, the US prison on the eastern tip of Cuba – which, at its peak, held approximately 750 detainees – is “a travesty of justice.”

In My Guantanamo Diary, 30-year-old Mahvish Rukhsana Khan tells the stories of some of the men held at what is known as Gitmo – “the worst of the worst” according to ex-US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Born in the US to Afghan parents, law student Khan’s fluency in Pashtu enables her to work as an interpreter between Afghan detainees and the pro bono lawyers acting on their behalf, visiting the prison over 36 times.

Khan quickly established close relationships with several prisoners, including paediatrician Ali Shah Mousovi, 80-year-old Haji Nusrat Khan and cheeky 27-year-old goat herder Taj Mohammad.

“Though they were systematically dehumanised, to me they became like friends or brothers, or fathers and uncles,” Khan writes.

But isn’t she talking about terrorists? It seems unlikely when you consider that the US military dropped thousands of leaflets in Afghanistan promising bounties of up to 25,000 US dollars to anyone who would turn in members of al-Qaida or the Taliban. The average annual wage in Afghanistan is equivalent to 300 US dollars.

Furthermore, an analysis of declassified

Pentagon documents has found that 86 per cent of prisoners were not captured by US forces, but handed over, probably for money, by either the trusty Pakistani police or virtuous Afghan warlords.

Travelling to Afghanistan for the first time in 2006 to gather evidence to help the prisoners cases, Khan explores her own heritage and, interestingly, describes the effects on the civilian population of the depleted uranium used by NATO forces since 2001, something that I have not seen mentioned anywhere else.

A surprisingly easy and accessible book, My Guantanamo Diary is a fantastic introduction to the criminal and morally reprehensible nature of the “war on terror.”

Khan has many amusing anecdotes to tell, but her stomach-churning account of the force-feeding of al-Jazeera journalist Sami al-Haj is deadly serious and, along with the many descriptions of torture, will anger everyone who reads it.

That both US presidential candidates have pledged to close Guantanamo if they are elected is good news, but only half the story.

It is likely detainees will simply be moved to other US detention facilities around the world – including Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, consistently described by inmates as far worse than Guantanamo. Plus ca change…

Guantánamo detainee convicted in rigged military trial: here.

Guantánamo trial sentence stuns Bush administration: here.

2 thoughts on “New book on Guantanamo torture camp

  1. WAR CRIMES SYSTEM IS STILL ON TRIAL
    The verdict and the five-and-a-half-year sentence may not have been as severe as the government had hoped for, but it was a green light for a tribunal that the Pentagon plans to use to prosecute as many as 80 detainees, including five men charged as the plotters and coordinators of the Sept. 11 attack.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/washington/10gitmo.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    ATTORNEY: TERROR DEFENDANT WITH NY TARGET LIST TORTURED
    The attorney for a Pakistani woman arrested on terror charges and accused of possessing a list of New York landmarks to attack said her client had been tortured soon after she was apprehended in Afghanistan on charges of trying to kill U.S. soldiers.
    newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-literr0814,0,6818152.story

    PSYCHOLOGISTS CLASH ON AIDING INTERROGATIONS
    “American psychology really grew up with the military. It was barely considered a science before the collaboration began, and the entanglement goes very deep.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/16/washington/16psych.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    U.S. MAY EASE POLICE SPY RULES
    “It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081503497.html

    ILL AND IN PAIN, DETAINEE DIES IN U.S. HANDS
    [T]wo days after his 34th birthday, he died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Rhode Island hospital, his spine fractured and his body riddled with cancer that had gone undiagnosed and untreated for months.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/nyregion/13detain.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    IMMIGRANTS’ SPEEDY TRIALS AFTER RAID BECOME ISSUE
    “The entire process seemed to presume and be designed for fast-track guilty pleas.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/us/09immig.html?ref=us

    LOUISIANA: CHARGES AGAINST OFFICERS THROWN OUT
    Survivors of the Sept. 4, 2005, shootings have said the officers fired at unarmed people crossing the Danziger Bridge to get food at a grocery store.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/us/14brfs-CHARGESAGAIN_BRF.html?ref=us

    Like

  2. Pingback: CIA torturers and accomplices still not prosecuted | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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