"It just keeps getting worse. Responding to a court case brought by Guantanamo prisoners against force-feeding, the Obama administration says it cannot guarantee it will not happen during the day over Ramadan, which starts Monday - that it “plans” to feed all detainees before dawn and after sunset “absent any…operational issues,” because the “public interest lies with maintaining the status quo.” The President’s lawyers also argued the detainees bringing the case are not “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and therefore not protected by it. One is rendered speechless. Not so two prisoners, who send their "call to the outside world" in letters describing solitary confinement, confiscated blankets, beatings, tear gas, body searches up to ten times a day and daily, violent, blood-soaked force-feedings. Thus, the "status quo" that must be maintained."Can Obama and his henchmen and women be anymore despicable?
Through his lawyers he argues that Guantánamo prisoners are not "persons" under American law and, therefore, not protected by it.
What then is the legal status of Guantánamo prisoners? Are they even human in the eyes of Obama?
I was disgusted to see pictures of Obama standing in former President Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island last weekend.
The pictures were meant to editorialize a kind of introspection as Obama stood with his hands in his pockets solemnly staring out of the window where Mandela spent his years on the Island.
How patently disingenuous.
The apartheid regime kept Mandela under lock and key for nearly three decades of his life in what was trumped up charges against the struggle toward democracy.
A great part of the anti-apartheid struggle was to afford everyone the right to equality, fairness, and justice.
Obama oversees and empire that keeps men without charge in Guantánamo for what is now decades. And he denies them the cover of US laws which protect their right to freedom of religion and person.
Is this not apartheid?
How then can this man and those who support him not see the duplicity of him standing in Mandela's cell? What did he tell his daughters who were taken along presumably to impart life lessons about what Mandela and others on the Island represent in the struggle toward human dignity and human rights for all?
Obama is the terrorist in these terms. If anyone deserves to be behind bars for crimes against humanity it is him and his henchmen and women.
A telling comment that Zimet adds to her post quotes Abdelhadi Faraj, prisoner #329, who askes:
"Does the world know what is happening in this prison?"If the world does not know by now then it deepens the tragedy of what Obama is doing in Guantánamo.
And we are not free.
PS: See also Vijay Prashad's "Obama on Robben Island" (July 1) and an excellent reminder of Leonard Peltier's continued inhumane imprisonment in the US by Harvey Wasserman entitled "Obama, Mandela and Leonard Peltier" (July). Both articles appear at Counterpunch.