Archive for guantanamo – Page 2

VIDEO-- Medea Benjamin to Pres. Obama: "Will you apologize to the thousands of Muslims that you have killed?"


medea benjamin after heckling Obama

Link, via Ryan J. Reilly

Medea Benjamin may have made some valid points, as did the president. But heckling often ends up working against the heckler, at least that's the way it looked from the reactions that came my way on Twitter. On the other hand, it does get a whole lot of attention from the media.

President Obama eventually became impatient with the interruptions and politely told a very persistent Medea Benjamin to STFU:

President Obama:

"This is part of free speech, is you being able to speak but also, you listen, and me being able to speak."


PhotOH! On the streets of Boston: An important message for Congress, written in chalk


boston gardens

On my recent trip to Boston (I loved it there, even more than I did the first time), I took many, many pictures with my brand spanking new iPad (which I also love) camera... mainly because I somehow managed to forget my "real" camera. We did a LOT of walking, and as we did a lot of walking, I did a lot of observing.

What is pictured below was one of many amazing things I saw, especially in contrast to the exquisite, serene beauty of the image I snapped above.

More photos will be coming soon, but what was written in chalk on the steps below was one of the two most gripping moments I had in the two days I spent in this wonderful, awe-inspiring city:

boston gitmo  torture message

"101 days... Gitmo hunger strike"

" Where is the world... to save us from torture."

All my previous posts on this topic can be found here.


"This seems to be exactly what our founders abhorred."


gitmo prisoner usa

Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Obama's Gitmo woes," Opinion, May 5

As a fan of Doyle McManus, I was disappointed to read his claim that most of the detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay were anti-American extremists when they were apprehended.

Our own government has acknowledged that many of these men were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border when the war started in 2001. They are guilty of nothing.

I also note with dismay the remarks of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who said that the Guantanamo prisoners were "hell-bent on destroying our way of life." Graham and his fellow Republicans in the Senate, who have supported the gutting of the Constitution under the guise of fighting terrorism, have been much more effective in that regard than the innocent men who languish in Cuba.

Jon Krampner

Los Angeles


McManus and other commentators have noted the conflict between American values and the indefinite detention without trial of those deemed "enemy combatants." It is hard for me to imagine any action more obviously in violation of our Constitution than this.

Indeed, this seems to be exactly what our founders abhorred.

Obviously, some detainees hate us and will actively seek to attack us if released. But keeping them imprisoned, especially in clear disregard of our own laws and values, serves to recruit an unknown number of like-minded individuals.

On balance, won't we be safer if we let them loose? There will be fewer of them to plot against us, and we'll know who they are and be able to monitor them.

Randall Gellens

San Diego


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’d like to see 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


Taxpayers Pay Nearly $1,000,000 a Year to Incarcerate a Guantanamo Inmate While Making the US Less Secure


 via ACLU.orgImage via

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

The hunger strike at Guantanamo is nearing 100 days long (with the majority of detainees participating). The Nation recounts the words of one hunger striker that "cut to the heart of the [desperation] protest": 

“As of today, I’ve spent more than 11 years in Guantánamo Bay,” he wrote. “To be precise, it’s been 4,084 long days and nights. I’ve never been charged with any crime.”

[M]aybe in this age of "austerity" Americans should take a look at the cost of keeping a prisoner in an isolated US military base on Cuban soil.  As The Fiscal Times (and other outlets have) reported the annual cost to US taxpayers of each Guantanamo detainee is more than $900,000 per individual. [...]

Michael Hager of the Christian Science Monitor wrote on May 2 of another kind of cost, how Guantanamo is both profoundly inhumane and that it also defeats its purpose: rather than enhancing US security, it makes us more vulnerable [...]

Whatever the risk of released prisoners “returning to the battlefield,” it would seem outweighed by the more obvious risk that Guantánamo poses: It serves as a recruitment poster for Al Qaeda. The assessment of security risks must also take into account the ongoing damage to America's moral standing in the world – damage that will greatly increase if and when the Guantánamo hunger strikers start dying from their fast.

An even more significant long-term cost may be the potential for blowback from legal precedents being set [...]

Only a lawless society would condone indefinite detention, forced-feeding, and solitary confinement.

Please read the entire post here.