Today marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay.
Surely one of the most ignominous episodes in the recent history of the United States. I am sure we all remember Obama’s promise that should he gain office he would close the facility down within a year, that was three years ago. Such empty words are just one of the reasons why politicians both in the U.K. and the U.S.A. can not be believed in, yet come election time, we are obliged to vote for the least worst option just to prevent an even more loathsome candidate getting into power. Such is the reality of the so called democracy we have in the west.
Growing up in the U.K. as I did, in a comfortable middle class family, I was given to believe that Britain stands for justice and fair play; how cushioned I was from the reality. Of course the mainstream media plays a huge role in perpetuating this myth, for sure if I had not become Muslim and had access to alternative media I may never have learned the shocking truth. Most of my extended family and the friends I grew up with still believe that the inmates of Guantanamo and other prisons which hit the headlines; such as Bagram and Abu Ghraib, contain dangerous terrorists. They are reassured that if these people were picked up overseas they must have been “up to no good”! There is no doubt that mainstream media has done an excellent job of deceiving the masses.
The following is the stark reality of who the inmates of Guantanamo Bay really are:-
Of the 171 men still held at Guantánamo, 89 were “approved for transfer” out of Guantánamo by a Task Force of career officials and lawyers from the various government departments and the intelligence agencies, and yet they remain held because of Congressional opposition and President Obama’s unwillingness to tackle his critics. 36 others were recommended for trials, and 46 others were designated for indefinite detention without charge pr trial, on the basis that they are too dangerous to release, but that there is insufficient evidence against them to put them on trial.
What does is mean when men cannot be given the justice of a trial because the evidence held against them is not fit to be used? Can we assume that it was gained by torture? Or is it plain not good enough to gain a conviction?
Sitting in my warm home writing this, I find thinking about what these men have suffered absolutely terrifying. How can something so unjust happen? The first leg of the journey often began in Pakistan where money was offered by the United States government as bounty to anyone able to seek out and hand over a foreigner, just any foreigner. The chance to earn dollars a huge incentive to people in dire poverty. These mostly innocent people were taken to Bagram or were subject to extra ordinary rendition to client states such as Egypt, Syria, Morocco or even European countries where they were horrifically tortured, some of those that survived were sent to Guantanamo. The revelation that British intelligence were complicit in these acts seems beyond doubt.
Today as the inmates of Guantanamo stage sit-ins and hunger strikes to protest their situation, we should feel the very least we can do is to write to our M.P. and ask when will Shaker Aamer, the last British Citizen in Guantanamo Bay be brought home? Shaker Aamer has long since been cleared for release yet he is still detained. Hardly the justice or fair play that I grew up believing in, or perhaps justice and fair play excludes Muslims since the Zionification of Western Governments and the so named ”War on Terror”.