The system tortures, and they call it democracy

The Guardian:  “Gitmo hunger strikes are a cry for help. Why is the US fighting back with secret torture?……..Force-feeding at Guantánamo shames America – not just in the bad old days of George W Bush, but today, in 2014. And you deserve to hear the truth, loud and clear.”

by Cori Crider, theguardian.com, Tuesday 30 September 2014

gitmo fence hand

Gitmo is a warehouse of the forgotten, run by a military that doesn’t know how to treat the sick souls it’s caged without charge for over 12 years. Photograph: Dar Yasin/AP

“Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent”: so goes the slogan of the world’s most famous offshore prison. It’s an Obama-era rebrand, a bid by Gitmo’s PR people to persuade Americans that today’s is a kinder, gentler Guantánamo Bay. There’s just one wrinkle: Gitmo is still dangerous, nasty, lawless and secretive – and the evidence just keeps piling up.

At the forefront of this war over the truth is the first-ever trial concerning the practice of force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike, due to start Monday. My client, Abu Wa’el Dhiab – a Syrian man who has never been charged, and indeed has been cleared to leave Guantánamo by the US government for more than five years – has been fighting for over a year to reform the way he and other hunger-strikers have been treated. He’s finally about to have his day in court.

But the Obama administration refuses to accept this unusual intrusion of justice into its island idyll. On Friday, US justice department attorneys filed a motion asking the court to hear all evidence in the trial entirely in closed court, save a short, anodyne opening statement from lawyers on both sides. Continue reading

WSJ on Wikileak’s Vast Disclosure of Diplomatic Secrets

Saudi King Abdullah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2010

The publication of a quarter-million sensitive diplomatic cables Sunday exposed years of U.S. foreign-policy maneuvering that could prove embarrassing to the U.S. and its allies, especially in the Islamic world.

The publication by WikiLeaks of a quarter-million sensitive diplomatic cables exposed years of U.S. maneuvering that could prove embarrassing to the U.S. and its allies. Julian Barnes and David Weidner discuss. Also, Charles Forelle discusses Europe’s $90 billion bailout of Ireland and the blueprint Europe drafted for future rescues.

Among activities detailed in the documents was the extensive, and increasingly successful, push by the U.S. for an international consensus to confront Iran’s nuclear program. Five newspapers obtained early access to the documents, which had been gathered by the website WikiLeaks.

The cables showed how some Arab leaders were largely in sync with Israel to support greater financial penalties, if not military operations, against Iran unless it abandons its nuclear ambitions. Regarding Iran, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah was portrayed in an April 2008 memo as having told the U.S. “to cut off the head of the snake.”

The cables showed the Obama administration working to get skeptical European states to back more-biting sanctions against Tehran, and also working to forestall United Nations vetoes of the effort by China and Russia Continue reading