Two years ago, Sarah Shourd was released from an Iranian prison. She and two other Americans went hiking in 2009 in Iraqi Kurdistan, but Iran accused them of spying and put them behind bars. They have a book coming out next year.
One part of Patt Morrison's L.A. Times interview with Shourd stood out to me, because sadly, the U.S. puts prisoners in solitary all the time, including Bradley Manning, including Guantanamo Bay detainees like the man I've written about for years, Fayiz al-Kandari.
To read Shourd's description of her ordeal brought back all my feelings of frustration and anger over the issue of torture and indefinite detention, topics that come up only rarely these days.
Why is solitary confinement your cause?
I was in solitary confinement 410 days. I had hallucinations. I had violent panic attacks. I beat at the walls until my knuckles bled. I know the toll it takes. Prolonged solitary confinement is without a doubt psychological torture. It's used in our own prisons as a routine practice; it's used for something as small as not returning a book on time.
Should it be banned?
I agree with a U.N. expert that it should be proscribed except as a very last resort. It's morally wrong. It's also costing us a lot of tax dollars to keep people in isolation. It doesn't help an individual's reform.
Was it hard for you to be around people again?
Extremely difficult. I'd been dreaming for 13 1/2 months of not being alone, but when I was released, I found it difficult to interact with other human beings. My family, people I had been yearning to see — I found myself overwhelmed, difficult to make physical contact, very jumpy.
Please read the entire interview here.
Former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA), who is in prison for conspiracy and tax evasion, who plead guilty to all kinds of fraud and took millions of dollars in bribes, is endorsing Newton Leroy Gingrich.
Well, then, that's it. He's a shoo-in!
First I do not want anything from you but have been watching the debates. I have 80% of inmates that would vote for you. They might not be able to but their extended families will. [...]
First when you were Speaker of the House having a Democratic president, you passed every issue working with the house and senate Dems. It was not easy and Mit (sic) just does not have this experience. It also shows that every bone in your body is for helping this nation become great again through conservative government. Mit (sic) may have been in the private sector but congress is far from having absolute control over your employees.
Wowee, he's a convict AND he can't spell!
Who could ask for a better supporter than that? Mit (sic) must be soooo enviouss (sic).
Source: Voice of San Diego.
The U.S. government will pay $1.26 million to five Muslim men detained for months without charges after the September 11 attacks who sued for unlawful imprisonment and abuse, their lawyers said on Tuesday.
The men claimed they suffered inhumane and degrading treatment in a Brooklyn detention center, including solitary confinement, severe beatings, incessant verbal abuse and a blackout on communications with their families and attorneys. [...]
The report said videotapes showed some detention center staff "misused strip searches and restraints to punish detainees and that officers improperly and illegally recorded detainees' meetings with their attorneys." [...]
The lawsuit said some of the plaintiffs, upon entering the jail, had their faces smashed into a wall where a blood-smeared American flag T-shirt was taped and told "welcome to America," according to the lawsuit.
Their pain and suffering will never go away, and yet the U.S. admits no liability. Shades of Fayiz al-Kandari's Gitmo.
Welcome to BushCoWorld.
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Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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