Torture Continues at Guantanamo
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
It never ended under Obama at US torture prisons worldwide, Guantanamo the tip of the iceberg.
The practice continues under Trump. He believes it works. Clear evidence proves otherwise.
He believes if it doesn’t work, detainees deserve it anyway. The vast majority in US torture prisons post-9/11 were innocent victims, wrongfully called terrorists, brutalized for their faith and ethnicity – their pain and suffering ignored, largely unreported by Western media.
International law is clear and unequivocal. Torture is illegal at all times, under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.
It’s mostly used for punishment and control, not to obtain useful information. Most, maybe all, detainees in US torture prisons have nothing to tell.
They’ll say anything their torturers want to hear to stop the pain. Most everyone would do the same thing.
Common US torture methods include waterboarding (simulating drowning), severe beatings, electric shocks, mock executions, hooding, prolonged isolation under extreme heat or cold, deafening noice, use of stress positions, along with sexual humiliation and abuse.
Founded by civil and human rights attorney Clive Stafford Smith, UK-based Reprieve “fight(s) for the victims of extreme human rights abuses with legal action and public education.”
The group’s main focus is on the death penalty, indefinite detentions without trial, extraordinary renditions, extrajudicial killings and torture.
Last October, it published seven facts most people don’t know about Guantanamo, as follows:
“1. Most detainees were sold to the US for enormous bounties.
2. The Bush administration decided that the prisoners had no rights, and Reprieve was a big part of changing that.”
3. All the prisoners initially faced the death penalty.
4. At least 15 children have been held in Guantanamo.
5. More men have died in Guantanamo than have been convicted of a crime.
6. Over 90% of Guantanamo detainees have been released without charge.
7. Guantanamo is possibly the world’s most expensive prison.”
It costs Washington around $445 million to keep Guantanamo’s 41 prisoners incarcerated – $29,000 per prisoner daily, a shocking waste of money on top of committing grievous human rights abuses.
Of the roughly 775 Guantanamo detainees since its detention facilities opened in January 2002, only four were convicted of a crime.
The vast majority were held uncharged and untried, their fundamental rights denied. At least 10 were killed by prison guards or other US personnel, falsely listed as suicides.
The ACLU called torture and abuse at Guantanamo one of the most shameful episodes in US history, urging its facilities to be shut down.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) led the fight against indefinite detention and torture at Guantanamo – calling it an “island prison designed to exist beyond the rule of law.”
Trump vowed to resume sending prisoners there, saying he wants to “load it up with some bad dudes.” CCR continues working for the release of remaining detainees, seeking closure of the facility.
UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said he has information that Ammar al-Baluchi, falsely accused of involvement in 9/11, is being tortured and abused at Guantanamo, explaining:
“In addition to the long-term effects of past torture, noise and vibrations are reportedly still being used against him, resulting in constant sleep deprivation and related physical and mental disorders, for which he allegedly does not receive adequate medical attention.”
Other detainees perhaps are treated the same way. Melzer called for prosecution of US officials responsible for involvement in torture, issuing a statement saying:
“By failing to prosecute the crime of torture in CIA custody, the US is in clear violation of the Convention against Torture, and is sending a dangerous message of complacency and impunity to officials in the US and around the world.”
He and his predecessors were denied access Guantanamo – to learn firsthand what apparently still goes on.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”