What it’s like to be a guard (at least for this guard)

I liked working night shifts, because whenever they were awake, I wanted to apologize to them. When they were sleeping, I didn’t have to worry about that. I could just walk up and down the blocks all night long.

There was usually one detainee who would lead the call to prayer at five in the morning. That person was in the very last cell. The detainees, they sang beautifully. It was so eerie to hear, because it was such a beautiful song, and to hear forty-eight detainees just get up in the morning and, in unison, sing this gorgeous song that I could never understand — because Arabic is way out of my range of possibility — it was really intense.

Every day you walked down the blocks, forty-eight people in two rows of twenty-four cells, and you have no idea what any of them are there for. They’re just sitting in their cells. You give them food, and if they get crazy, you spray them with this terrible oil-based chemical. Then you send these five guys in to beat the shit out of them.

I couldn’t deal with it. I tied a 550 cord to the ceiling fan that was in my room and I tried to hang myself, but I ripped the fan out of the ceiling. I’ve never been happier about poor construction.

What it’s like to be a prisoner

They used to beat everybody. There was a man — he was really old and couldn’t see and couldn’t hear. If the guards told him something to do and he didn’t do it because he couldn’t hear, they went into his cage and beat him up. They did this for a couple minutes, and after that they took him out and brought him to isolation. That happened to me as well, a lot of times.

There doesn’t need to be a reason. First they would use a pepper spray. It’s burning. It is hot. You have trouble breathing and opening your eyes. All of your face is burning — your eyes especially and inside your nose. You can’t open your eyes because they are burning very hot. Since you have trouble breathing, you have to cough all the time. Then they’d punch me with their elbows. After they were done, they would write something down as to what could be the reason for it.

We were allowed to do the call to prayer every day, but they used to play music over us at the same time. The music some of the time was rock music, but most of the time they played the [American] national anthem. Or they used to kick the doors.

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Many of the captured “terrorists” at Guantanamo turn out to be nothing more than your everyday lowlife criminal roaming the streets of Afghanistan or Iraq. After being arrested and jailed for an indefinite amount of time, abused, and/or tortured at the hands of American soldiers these detainees are eventually released when it is shown they have no real ties to Al-Queda or any other Islamic extremist group. Once free many of them wind up actually joining an Islamic Ji’ihad group when they become infurriated at America due to the treatment they were forced to withstand in prison. Just more proof that this war is actually producing more terrorists instead of thwarting terrorism.

GARDEZ, Afghanistan – Mohammed Naim Farouq was a thug in the lawless Zormat district of eastern Afghanistan. He ran a kidnapping and extortion racket, and he controlled his turf with a band of gunmen who rode around in trucks with AK-47 rifles.
U.S. troops detained him in 2002, although he had no clear ties to the Taliban or al Qaida. By the time Farouq was released from Guantanamo the next year, however – after more than 12 months of what he described as abuse and humiliation at the hands of American soldiers – he’d made connections to high-level militants.

In fact, he’d become a Taliban leader. When the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency released a stack of 20 “most wanted” playing cards in 2006 identifying militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan – with Osama bin Laden at the top – Farouq was 16 cards into the deck.

A McClatchy investigation found that instead of confining terrorists, Guantanamo often produced more of them by rounding up common criminals, conscripts, low-level foot soldiers and men with no allegiance to radical Islam – thus inspiring a deep hatred of the United States in them – and then housing them in cells next to radical Islamists.

The radicals were quick to exploit the flaws in the U.S. detention system.

Full Article

Associated Press

ROME – President Bush on Thursday strongly disagreed with a Supreme Court ruling that clears foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. Bush suggested new legislation may now be needed to keep the American people safe.

“We’ll abide by the court’s decision,” Bush said during a news conference in Rome. “That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.” The court’s decision was sure to be popular in Europe, where many leaders have called for the closing of Guantanamo.

In its third rebuke of the Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court’s liberal justices were in the majority.

“It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented,” Bush said. “And that dissent was based upon their serious concerns about U.S. national security.”

I’d like to hear feed back from people who might agree with President Bush.

I’m not sure I understand the justification for denying people their day in court and why all evidence against them isn’t presented to a judge. Not everyone in Guantanamo is guilty. They should be able to speak their side of the story. If they are in fact guilty and the evidence suggest so, then sentence them. If not, release them.

One might say that releasing them could be detrimental because they may have been dismissed of the charges against them when they were in fact guilty. Understandable, but we do it every single day.

It is in a dictatorship that people accused of a crime are arrested and put in jail never to see the light of day again let alone ever given the chance to defend themselves. Last I checked, we weren’t a dictatorship.