Monday, December 03, 2007

Guantanamo Bay: 6th Anniversary

On January 11th, 2008, The illegal Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre will "celebrate" it's 6th anniversary. Amnesty International is holding vigils and protests worldwide to shut down Gitmo, which Tony Blair referred to as an anomaly whilst Prime Minister and Gordon Brown now ignores.

Many of the detainees (kidnapped and held hostage under the rendition programme) have been released, having been tortured and abused, held without legal representation for years, but the kidnapping and torture continues a pace. Bush and his Neo-Cons know Guantanamo Bay has to close, being nominally on US soil. Instead they have expanded the legal black hole of Bagram in Afghanistan, which is now twice the size of Guantanamo.

More links on Gitmo, torture and rendition can be found here.

As Britain's outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray helped expose vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov. He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region.

Links to released Guantanamo detainees reading their poetry written whilst in Guantanamo Bay can be found here

Please feel free to add relevant links to articles on Gitmo in the comments.


Waterboarding: Charlie Don't Surf

Malcolm Nance, an advisor on terrorism to the US departments of Homeland Security, Special Operations and Intelligence, publicly denounced the practice. He revealed that waterboarding is used in training at the US Navy's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School in San Diego, and claimed to have witnessed and supervised "hundreds" of waterboarding exercises. Although these last only a few minutes and take place under medical supervision, he concluded that "waterboarding is a torture technique – period".

The practice involves strapping the person being interrogated on to a board as pints of water are forced into his lungs through a cloth covering his face while the victim's mouth is forced open. Its effect, according to Mr Nance, is a process of slow-motion suffocation.

Typically, a victim goes into hysterics on the board as water fills his lungs. "How much the victim is to drown," Mr Nance wrote in an article for the Small Wars Journal, "depends on the desired result and the obstinacy of the subject.

"A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience to horrific, suffocating punishment, to the final death spiral. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch."