America locked a children’s humanitarian aid worker in Gitmo for 7 years. He wasn't the only one.


Think Progress:

Lakhdar Boumediene, the named plaintiff in a seminal Supreme Court case preserving Guantanamo Bay detainees’ right to challenge the legality of their detention, recounts his experience as a man falsely accused of terrorism and imprisoned at Gitmo for seven years in an op-ed in the New York Times [...]

I served in the Sarajevo office as director of humanitarian aid for children who had lost relatives to violence during the Balkan conflicts. [...]

News reports at the time said the United States believed that I was plotting to blow up its embassy in Sarajevo. I had never — for a second — considered this. [...]

...and we locked him up and tortured him.

I'm very glad Think Progress is spotlighting this story. Now I wish they'd do the same for the one I've shared with you for nearly three years, that of Fayiz al-Kandari:

...Imagine this: That person you adore...

  • enduring wood screws piercing his scull during a 24-hour plane ride to Cuba where he'd be imprisoned
  • having his ribs broken by strangers who don't speak his language
  • choking on blood from a head laceration after having been beaten
  • being exposed to temperatures that chilled him to the bone, then having cold water thrown all over him
  • having his eardrums nearly explode from excruciatingly loud music
  • suffering from severe sleep deprivation night after night until he had no idea what day it was, or if he was even sane any more
  • being left for days chin-deep in sewage and blood-infested icy water
  • hearing death threats whispered into his ear
  • being stripped naked and humiliated in front of men and women who taunted him.... and worse.

Imagine your loved one's face during all that, and his cries, fears, shivers, pain, tears, panic, and longing. Now replace your loved one's face with that of Fayiz al-Kandari. Does that make it easier? Or excusable?

Fayiz experienced much of what I described above. Fayiz's crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time doing charity work required of him by his religion. Fayiz, who comes from a wealthy family, from a country allied with ours, was sold to our forces for bounty.

He was then shipped from prison to prison, finally spending the last [10] years locked up and tortured at Gitmo. Lawyers refer to that as "abuse" or "mistreatment". I call it torture.

Lakhdar Boumediene isn't the only one who should be getting some well-deserved attention.


here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you are inclined to help rectify these injustices: Twitterers, use the hashtag #FreeFayiz. We have organized a team to get these stories out. If you are interested in helping Fayiz out, e-mail me at The Political Carnival, address in sidebar to the right; or tweet me at @GottaLaff.

If you’d like to see other ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at