Nothing has changed at Gitmo

And we have another story that nothing has changed at Gitmo since Obama took office.

A DETAINEE at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay said he was beaten almost daily and that nothing has changed since Barack Obama took over as US president, it was reported today.

The Obama administration must start to meet their rhetoric with actions.

And in other news, the CIA has formally started to close it “black sites” where contractors where used to conduct the interrogations of detainees.

The Central Intelligence Agency announced on Thursday that it will no longer use contractors to conduct interrogations, and that it is decommissioning the secret overseas sites where for years it held high-level Al Qaeda prisoners.

And finally there are reports that the Spanish prosecutors are going ahead with the charges against Alberto Gonzales and five other Bush administration associates.

Scott Horton has reported that “Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo.” The others targeted are John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Doug Feith and William Haynes.

As we have said in the past, the US signed the treaties under which these charges are proposed and from what I have been reading and have heard, this could force the US into either bringing proceedings against the Bush administration officials who approved the “enhanced interrogation” techniques or running the risk of extradition requests being made for those who are accused by the Spanish prosecutors.

Gitmo – it’s getting worse

The Guardian in the UK is reporting that the conditions in the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay are getting worse. The American military lawyer for a British resident who is being held at Gitmo has said:

At least 50 people are on hunger strike, with 20 on the critical list, according to Binyam. The JTF [the Joint Task Force running Guantánamo] are not commenting because they do not want the public to know what is going on.

Binyam has witnessed people being forcibly extracted from their cell. Swat teams in police gear come in and take the person out; if they resist, they are force-fed and then beaten. Binyam has seen this and has not witnessed this before. Guantánamo Bay is in the grip of a mass hunger strike and the numbers are growing; things are worsening.

And this is happening on the watch of the new administration.

This information was part of a story by the Guardian on the treatment of Binyam Mohamed, who she claims was tortured at Gitmo – and that Britain was complicit in his treatment.

Suspicion is also growing that some sections of the US intelligence community would prefer Binyam did die inside Guantánamo. Silenced forever, only the sparse language of his diary would be left to recount his torture claims and interviewees with an MI5 officer, known only as Witness B. Such a scenario would also deny Mohamed the chance to personally sue the US, and possibly British authorities, over his treatment.

Those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.

More at American Torture.

US official admits they torture

I am both amazed and not amazed (is that possible) that Susan Crawford has gone public with the revelation that the US did torture inmates at Gitmo. Susan Crawford is the convening authority of the military commissions at Gitmo.

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Keim on Gitmo, and torture timelines

Stephen Keim, the barrister for Dr Haneef, has written an article in The Australian that some blogocrats are referring to in other threads, and I thought that it warranted it’s own thread.

The policy of the Bush administration was to place its captives in a legal black hole.

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