Updated May 7, 2013
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IN 2002, the Bush regime set up a primitive prison camp at a U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Several hundred men were subjected to “enhanced interrogation”, what the rest of the world calls torture. Most had been turned in for $5,000 cash bounties the U.S. paid, and had no connection to attacks on the U.S. 157 haven’t ever been charged and 86 were cleared for release years ago.
Obama has the power to release the 86 cleared, but has not. Congress has legislated to block Guantanamo’s closure; federal courts have blocked prisoners’ rights to sue, and denied their petitions for habeas corpus. The few that have been charged will not be tried because the abuse and torture they suffered at government hands would be revealed.
Prisoners are desperately trying to get the world’s attention by refusing to eat, some of them since early February 2013. The hunger strike has grown to 130 men. The media is no longer ignoring it. Obama had to address it in a recent press conference. He said Guantanamo hurts America’s standing and doesn’t keep America safe and never mentioned the immense suffering these men have endured. Obama said he would need to go back to Congress with the issue.
166 men remain imprisoned at Guantananamo Bay.
157 haven’t been charged and 86 have been cleared for release.
May 17-19 Global Days of Action Mark 100 Days of Hunger Strike
The truth is that Obama could close Guantanamo today and doesn’t need Congress . The otherwise dangerous National Defense Authorization Act includes waiver provisions that give the Obama Administration the legal authority to transfer detainees from Guantánamo. Obama justified force feeding, a brutal procedure in which a tube is shoved into the nose and liquids are pumped down the throat while prisoners are strapped down in a chair. The United Nations Human Rights Commission, The World Medical Association, and the American Medical Association denounce force feeding as torture and/or unethical.
One thing is clear to people of conscience and that is Obama must close Guantanamo now! We must do what we can to create a political situation where Obama releases the cleared prisoners and closes Guantanamo. It was always wrong and no government should be able to do such things.