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Anti-Guantanamo Bay
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Anti-Guantanamo Bay
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Of all of the things going on right now the torture at Guantanamo Bay upsets me the most. The torture of another human being is the worst crime that a person, or a nation, can commit. Guantanamo Bay is the worst of the worst because like the concentration camps of Nazi Germany it keeps many prisoners in a state of constant torture (as you will read in the August Issue of Rolling Stone, part of which I have copied onto this page). The perpetrators of Guantanamo should be tried in a similar manner to the architects of the Nazi concentration camps. Punishment should be handed down to every person who has ever worked at the camp and severity of the punishment should be determined by the amount of responsibility the person had in the overall design and or running of the camp, in which the person(s) at the top would get life in prison without parole. Below is a copy of a segment of an article from the August 2006 Rolling Stone. I encourage everyone to read the entire article in the magazine and if you are not disturbed to the very core of your soul that your country, the United States of America is treating people in this manner then you should take a good look in the mirror and ask youself "where did my soul go and who stole it?". What’s happening at Guantanamo Bay is the kind of thing that should be causing people to take to the streets...but it's not. Why?
Or is it...

-R. Shaffer


EXCERPT FROM ROLLING STONE - AUG. 2006 The Unending Torture of Omar Khadr He was a child of jihad, a teenage soldier in bin Laden's army. Captured on the battlefield when he was only fifteen, he has been held at Guantanamo Bay for the past four years -- subjected to unspeakable abuse sanctioned by the president himself Jeff Tietz Page 1 2 In July 2002, a Special Forces unit in southeast Afghanistan received intelligence that a group of Al Qaeda fighters was operating out of a mud-brick compound in Ab Khail, a small hill town near the Pakistani border. The Taliban regime had fallen seven months earlier, but the rough border regions had not yet been secured. When the soldiers arrived at the compound, they looked through a crack in the door and saw five men armed with assault rifles sitting inside. The soldiers called for the men to surrender. The men refused. The soldiers sent Pashto translators into the compound to negotiate. The men promptly slaughtered the translators. The American soldiers called in air support and laid siege to the compound, bombing and strafing it until it was flat and silent. They walked into the ruins. They had not gotten far when a wounded fighter, concealed behind a broken wall, threw a grenade, killing Special Forces Sgt. Christopher Speer. The soldiers immediately shot the fighter three times in the chest, and he collapsed. When the soldiers got close, they saw that he was just a boy. Fifteen years old and slightly built, he could have passed for thirteen. He was bleeding heavily from his wounds, but he was -- unbelievably -- alive. The soldiers stood over him. "Kill me," he murmured, in fluent English. "Please, just kill me." His name was Omar Khadr. Born into a fundamentalist Muslim family in Toronto, he had been prepared for jihad since he was a small boy. His parents, who were Egyptian and Palestinian, had raised him to believe that religious martyrdom was the highest achievement he could aspire to. In the Khadr family, suicide bombers were spoken of with great respect. According to U.S intelligence, Omar's father used charities as front groups to raise and launder money for Al Qaeda. Omar's formal military training -- bombmaking, assault-rifle marksmanship, combat tactics -- before he turned twelve. For nearly a year before the Ab Khail siege, according to the U.S. government, Omar and his father and brothers had fought with the Taliban against American and Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan. Before that, they had been living in Jalalabad, with Osama bin Laden. Omar spent much of his adolescence in Al Qaeda compounds. At Ab Khail, a sergeant later said, every U.S. soldier who walked by Omar longed to put a bullet in his head. But an American medic, working near the corpse of Sgt. Speer, saved Omar's life, and he was taken to a hospital at Bagram Air Base with a bullet-split chest and serious shrapnel wounds to the head and eye. U.S. intelligence officers began interrogating him as soon as he regained consciousness. At that moment, Omar entered the extralegal archipelago of torture chambers and detention cells that the Bush administration has erected to prosecute its War on Terror. He has remained there ever since. At Bagram, he was repeatedly brought into interrogation rooms on stretchers, in great pain. Pain medication was withheld, apparently to induce cooperation. He was ordered to clean floors on his hands and knees while his wounds were still wet. When he could walk again, he was forced to stand for hours at a time with his hands tied above a door frame. Interrogators put a bag over his head and held him still while attack dogs leapt at his chest. Sometimes he was kept chained in an interrogation room for so long he urinated on himself. After the invasion of Afghanistan, President Bush decided, in violation of the Geneva Convention, that any adolescent apprehended by U.S. forces could be treated as an adult at age sixteen. The problem with treating teenage prisoners as adults, whatever their crimes, is that teenagers are especially Before boarding a C-130 transport to Guantanamo, Omar was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and hog-chained: shackled hand and foot, a waist chain cinching his hands to his stomach, another chain connecting the shackles on his hands to those on his feet. At both wrist and ankle, the shackles bit. The cuffs permanently scarred many prisoners on the flight, causing them to lose feeling in their limbs for several days or weeks afterward. Hooded and kneeling on the tarmac with the other prisoners, Omar waited for many hours. His knees sent intensifying pain up into his body and then went numb. Just before he got on the plane, Omar was forced into sensory-deprivation gear that the military uses to disorient prisoners prior to interrogation. The guards pulled black thermal mittens onto Omar's hands and taped them hard at the wrists. They pulled opaque goggles over his eyes and placed soundproof earphones over his ears. They put a deodorizing mask over his mouth and nose. They bolted him, fully trussed, to a backless bench. Whichever limbs hadn't already lost sensation from the cuffs lost sensation from the high-altitude cold during the flight, which took fifteen hours. "There was points I wished to God that one of these MPs would go crazy and then shoot me," recalled one of the hundreds of detainees who have made the trip. "It was the only time in my life that I really wished for a bullet." At Guantanamo, Omar was led, his senses still blocked, onto a bus that took the prisoners to a ferry dock. Some of the buses didn't have seats, and the prisoners usually sat cross-legged on the floor. Guards often lifted the prisoners' earphones, told them not to move, and when they moved -- helplessly, with the motion of the bus, like bowling pins -- started kicking them. The repeated blows often left detainees unable to walk for weeks. After the ferry ride, Omar was evaluated at a base hospital. "Welcome to Israel," someone told him. Then he was locked in a steel cage eight feet long and six feet wide. Because the cage had a sink and squat-toilet and the bed was welded to the floor, the open floor space was comparable to that of a small walk-in closet. The cages had been hurriedly constructed from steel mesh and transoceanic shipping containers. Giant banana rats ran freely through the cells and across the roofs and shit everywhere: on beds, on sinks, on Korans. Prisoners were allowed only one five-minute shower each week; the cellblocks stood in a perpetual stench. Omar's arrival at Guantanamo in October 2002 coincided with a fundamental turn in the administration's War on Terror. Within weeks of his arrival, at the authorization of President Bush, interrogators at the detention facility began using starkly inhumane techniques. Before Omar Khadr had even started to assimilate the wondrous horrors of Guantanamo Bay, his captors began to torture him.... >> Get the full article in the current Rolling Stone, on newsstands until August 24th, 2006. >> Plus: For the extraordinary story of a veteran foot soldier who fought for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and joined the jihad in Iraq, see our 2005 story, "The Insurgent's Tale." >> Selected reader responses will appear in Rolling Stone magazine: Write to us at

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