Debra Sweet | September 29, 2023
There are different layers to the answer of why we won’t shut up about closing the U.S. torture camp at Guantanamo.
🌍 on the basis of morality, holding people outside the law is utterly immoral.
🌏 on the grounds of the rights of human beings, the prison gets a score of zero.
🌎 Guantanamo has set a precedent that the most powerful state and military can get away with depriving people of their rights, torture them and face no consequences; rather, such crimes enforce the invincibility of the empire.
Join in the Global Vigil to Close Guantanamo: Wednesday October 4
London, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Washington DC & elsewhere each first Wednesday
New York City: 5:00-6:00 pm NY Public Library 5th Avenue @41st Street
▪️Military judges have recently ruled that two men held at Guantanamo whom the U.S. has charged with responsibility for 9/11/01 and for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in 1998 are not able to stand trial because of PTS and psychosis caused by years of torture by the U.S. military.
Andy Worthington analyses the significance of a [Department of Defense] Sanity Board’s assessment that Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks who are caught up in seemingly endless pre-trial hearings in Guantánamo’s broken military commissions, is unfit to stand trial because he suffers from PTS and psychosis. The judge in the 9/11 trial, Col. Matthew McCall, recently accepted the Sanity Board’s conclusion, removing bin al-Shibh from the trial, and leaving him in uncharted territory.
“I contrast these developments with other recent news: that the plea deals in the 9/11 case, which prosecutors at Guantánamo have been working on for the last 18 months, have been dealt a major blow by President Biden, who has refused to accept conditions requested by the five men, which involve the provision of independent physical and mental health care, and a promise that, if they plead guilty, they will not be held in solitary confinement.”
▪️Judge rejects confessions under conditions of torture: The military judge in the U.S.S. Cole bombing case threw out confessions [by Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri] after years of secret imprisonment by the C.I.A., declaring the statements the product of torture. “Exclusion of such evidence is not without societal costs,” the judge wrote. “However, permitting the admission of evidence obtained by or derived from torture by the same government that seeks to prosecute and execute the accused may have even greater societal costs.”