The Shock Doctrine

Disaster Capitalism in Action: guantanamo

Lawyer Says Guantanamo Abuse Worse Since Obama

Luke Baker, Reuters, February 25, 2009

"Abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has worsened sharply since President Barack Obama took office as prison guards 'get their kicks in' before the camp is closed, according to a lawyer who represents detainees....

"He stressed the mistreatment did not appear to be directed from above, but was an initiative undertaken by frustrated U.S. army and navy jailers on the ground. It did not seem to be a reaction against the election of Obama, a Democrat who has pledged to close the prison camp within a year, but rather a realization that there was little time remaining before the last 241 detainees, all Muslim, are released.

"'It's "hey, let's have our fun while we can,"' said [Ahmed] Ghappour, who helped secure the release this week of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident freed from Guantanamo Bay after more than four years in detention without trial or charge. 'I can't really imagine why you would get your kicks from abusing prisoners, but certainly, having spoken to certain guards who have been injured in Iraq, who indirectly or directly blame my clients for their injuries and the trauma they have suffered, it's not too difficult to put two and two together'....

"Ghappour said he had filed two complaints of serious detainee abuse since December 22 but received no response from U.S. authorities. In one case his client had his knee, shoulder and thumb dislocated by a group of guards, Ghappour said."

Republicans Try to Block Guantánamo Detainees from Prisons in their Districts

Daniel Nasaw, Guardian, February 17, 2009

"Republicans in at least six states are seeking to block the White House from transferring Guantánamo Bay detainees to their districts, in what critics call an effort to stymie Barack Obama's efforts to close the prison.

"Congressional Republicans have introduced bills that would bar the government from moving any of the 250 inmates to some of the most prominent military and civilian detention centres in the US, including a "supermax" high-security federal prison in Florence, Colorado, which holds at least 16 convicted international terrorists, and a South Carolina naval brig that holds the only enemy combatant jailed in America....

"'If they think that US prisons can't hold terrorists without a good chance of those terrorists of running away and killing Americans, then I wonder why they haven't spent every waking hour of their lives in the Congress trying to fix that problem, considering that US prisons currently house some of the world's most dangerous convicted terrorists,' said Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch."

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