Tag Archives: Guantanamo Bay

Officials say Guantanamo transfers have killed Americans

Shocker, not.

you don't say

Via Fox News: Americans have been killed by prisoners released from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior Defense Department official told lawmakers Wednesday, triggering sharp criticism from Republicans opposed to shuttering the facility in the wake of deadly attacks by the Islamic State group in Brussels and Paris.

Paul Lewis, the Pentagon’s special envoy for Guantanamo detention closure, declined to provide the GOP-led House Foreign Affairs Committee with details. He would not say whether the incidents occurred before or after President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

“What I can tell you is unfortunately there have been Americans that have died because of (Guantanamo) detainees,” Lewis said during an exchange with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. “When anybody dies, it is a tragedy and we don’t want anybody to die because we transfer detainees,” Lewis said.

An Obama administration official said Lewis was referring to an incident that involved an Afghan prisoner released from Guantanamo while George W. Bush was president. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity. During the Bush administration, 532 prisoners were released from Guantanamo, often in large groups to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia — the two nationalities that made up the greatest number of prisoners.

The Obama administration has released 144 detainees after a screening process that involves representatives from six government agencies and departments who must make a unanimous decision to release.

Lewis testified before the committee along with Lee Wolosky, the State Department’s special envoy for Guantanamo closure. They argued the prison is a powerful propaganda tool for the Islamic State group and keeping it open damages U.S. national security.

Republicans and a few Democrats in Congress have repeatedly thwarted Obama’s effort to close the prison and blocked any attempt to move detainees to U.S. prisons in legislation the president has signed into law.

The committee’s hearing marked the first open exchange between the Obama administration and Congress over the utility and future of the prison since Obama sent his plan for shutting it down to Capitol Hill last month. The proposal was greeted with firm opposition from Republicans, who declared his proposal to deliver an unfulfilled campaign promise a non-starter.

Republicans see the prison at Guantanamo as more essential than ever. With the Islamic State group carrying out deadly assaults in Europe and expanding its base in Libya, they said, there needs to be a place to hold terrorist suspects. Republicans have refused Obama’s request that Congress change the law that prohibits moving detainees accused of violent extremist acts to U.S. soil.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Ed Royce of California, and other GOP lawmakers have also criticized the Obama administration for moving detainees to countries that are probably unable to ensure they don’t resume the behaviors that got them locked up in the first place. “Countries like Ghana and Uruguay aren’t typical security and intelligence partners, but they are being asked to shoulder a heavy burden and responsibility,” Royce said.

There are 91 men held at Guantanamo, down from nearly 250 when Obama assumed the presidency. Those left include 36 who are cleared for release if security conditions can be met in the countries where they will settle. Seven face trial by military commission, including five charged with planning and supporting the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. Three others have been convicted.

The Director of National Intelligence reported this month that 5 percent of Guantanamo prisoners released since January 2009, when the U.S. began using the multi-agency screening process, have re-engaged in terrorism and 8 percent are suspected of it. That compares to 21 percent confirmed and 14 percent suspected under the earlier system.


More ex-Guantanamo prisoners are returning to jihad

And yet Obama wants to close Guantanamo. Fundamental transformation.


Via NY Post: The number of former Guantanamo Bay prison inmates who are suspected of having returned to fighting for militants doubled to 12 in the six months through January, the Obama administration said on Monday.

The increase could fuel Republican attacks on Democratic President Barack Obama’s plan to close the US military prison in Cuba, which has come to symbolize aggressive detention practices following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and opened the United States to accusations of torture. Most detainees have been held without trial for more than a decade.

The closure plan, drawn up by the Pentagon and which requires approval by Congress, proposes 13 potential sites on US soil to hold 30 to 60 detainees in maximum-security prisons.

According to figures released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), as of Jan. 15 the United States also had confirmed that seven out of 144 Guantanamo prisoners who were freed since Obama took office in January 2009 have returned to fighting.

That was up from six since the ODNI’s previous release last July. The ODNI report is released every six months and does not give details on where or for which groups the former detainees are confirmed or suspected to be fighting.

The ODNI figures showed that 111 of 532 prisoners released by the Republican administration of President George W. Bush are confirmed to have returned to the battlefield, with 74 others suspected of doing so. Under Bush, suspected militants were rounded up overseas as the United States became embroiled in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and imprisoned at Guantanamo.

The closure plan faces strong opposition from lawmakers who do not want detainees transferred to the United States. The United States took control of part of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in 1903 under a treaty with the Havana government.

Obama has pressed the Republican-led legislature to give his proposal a “fair hearing” and said he did not want to pass the issue to his successor in January. He is also considering executive action to close the facility.

Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a measure that would force the administration to publicize plans for transfers from Guantanamo.

Four other Republican senators — Richard Burr, Kelly Ayotte, Tom Cotton and presidential hopeful Marco Rubio — also introduced a bill that would bar Obama from returning the naval base at Guantanamo to Cuba without authorization from Congress.


A Letter From Guantanamo


HuffPost: This is my call to the outside world from behind these rusty bars, in this monstrous cell. Does the world know what is happening in this prison?

Despite the long years we the prisoners have spent in this place from 2002 to 2013, the American government does not seem interested in solving the problem. The past few months have been among the harshest lived by the prisoners here. During the Bush years, solutions seemed possible. Under Obama, it seems like there is no will to solve the problem.

I once lived communally with the other prisoners in Camp Six. Now we are all in solitary confinement here, with only two hours of recreation a day. Some prisoners are too weak and sick to ever leave their cells as a result of the hunger strike and the U.S. military’s reaction to it.

The military here has used brute force against the hunger strikers. They have beaten us and used rubber-coated bullets and tear gas against us. They have confiscated everything from our cells, from toothbrushes to blankets and books. They have confined us to cold, windowless cells, beyond the reach of the sun’s rays or a fresh breeze. Sometimes, we don’t even know if it’s day or night out.

It isn’t unusual for prison guards here to search prisoners’ genital parts and their rectum ten times in a single day.

Daily, I am forced into a restraint chair, my arms, legs and chest tied down tight. Big guards grab my head with both hands. I feel like my skull is being crushed. Then, so-called nurses violently push a thick tube down my nostril. Blood rushes out of my nose and mouth. The nurses turn on the feeding solution full throttle. I cannot begin to describe the pain that causes.

Recently, a nurse brutally yanked out the force-feeding tube, threw it on my shoulder, and left the cell, leaving me tied down to the chair. Later, the nurse returned to the cell, took the tube off my shoulder and began to reinsert it into my nose. I asked him to cleanse and purify the tube first but he refused.

When I later tried to complain to another nurse about the incident, the other nurse threatened to force the feeding tube up my rear, not down my nose, if I didn’t suspend my hunger strike.

And when I tried taking the matter to a senior medical officer, he told me that they would strap me to a bed and make me urinate through a catheter forced into my penis if I kept up my peaceful protest.

I used to think I was the only one coping with severe joint pain, a weakened memory, having a hard time concentrating, and feeling constantly distracted as a result of all this. But I’ve since discovered that many hunger strikers struggle with the same symptoms. Without realizing it, some of the hunger strikers even speak to themselves out loud when they’re alone.

But we also know that there are peaceful protests in solidarity with our plight in many countries. Even in America itself, there are protests demanding that the U.S. government close this prison that has hurt America’s reputation. And international criticism mounts daily.

We the hunger strikers continue to demand our rights. President Obama can begin by releasing those of us who have been cleared for release years ago, followed by the prisoners who have not been charged with any crime after eleven years in captivity.

Despite the difficulties, the hard conditions, and the challenges created by the U.S. government, those of us on hunger strike will continue protesting until our demands for justice are met.

I don’t know if I believe his allegations of being treated  so harshly. I know someone whose father-in-law was at Gitmo for a couple years and he says the prisoners have a cushy life with all the facilities, games, and other demands they make. And I recently posted on how an official called Gitmo detainees “some of the most pampered prisoners on the planet.” He said they get as many as four choices of halal meals and have access to a new $750,000 soccer field. And the Pentagon is considering plans for a $150million overhaul to what is already the world’s most costly prison per capita.

Interestingly enough, as I do this post, there are no comments from HuffPo readers. Surprised they aren’t commenting and supporting this prisoner.


‘Waist’ of money at Guantanamo Bay as detainees get prison’s ‘infidel’ gym replaced


NY Post: Americans are supposed to have sympathy for the accused terrorist detainees now on hunger strike to protest supposedly cruel conditions at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“I don’t want these individuals to die,” President Obama recently lamented, adding he intends to close Gitmo and transfer the detainees to US prisons.

But just a few years ago, detainees got so plump from overeating hummus and other dishes from the camp’s Islamically correct menu that commanders specially ordered treadmills to help them lose weight. Then they ordered them again — because they weren’t made by Muslims.

“Even the hunger strikers were gaining weight because of all the food, so we go out and buy all this exercise equipment and throw it in the rec yard,” a Gitmo official said of a 2007 requisition. “Within the first week, there were guys saying, ‘Hey, this stuff is made in the US — made by infidels — and we’re not going to use it.’

“So what did we do?” added the official, who requested anonymity. “We took all of that s–t out, gave it to the soldiers to use, and bought them equipment that was made in a Muslim part of the world.”

The Pentagon declined to comment.

The official called Gitmo detainees “some of the most pampered prisoners on the planet.” He said they get as many as four choices of halal meals and have access to a new $750,000 soccer field. Islamic prayer beads and rugs are now “standard issue.” They get their choice of more than 10,000 Islamic books and videos stocked by a Muslim librarian, who also records soccer and Arabic TV for them. They even have their own clerics to preach to them in Arabic.

Everyone gets a Koran, paperback or hardback, along with little hammocks to keep their holy book from touching the ground when not in use.

Guards are prohibited from handling the books. The Muslim librarian is “the only one that’s allowed to touch the Korans anymore, per detainee request,” the official said. “If I went into the Koran room and started rifling through a Koran, I could be fired.”

But no one gets a Bible, because the Bible could “incite” the terrorists. Detainees even persuaded prison officials to stop raising the American flag anywhere they could see it.

Gitmo is no longer a prison camp; it’s a state-sponsored madrassa. But that’s not good enough for these inmates. They’re now demanding newer facilities and easier access to lawyers. More are threatening hunger strikes and unrest if they don’t get their way.

So the Pentagon is considering plans for a $150million overhaul to what is already the world’s most costly prison per capita. Each inmate at Gitmo costs roughly $800,000 a year to detain, for a total annual operating budget of more than $170 million.

The military already has approved construction projects, including a new $11 million hospital and medical units for detainees, along with a $10 million “legal meeting complex,” where lawyers and human-rights groups can huddle with detainees.

Mostly, this is politics. “I know some in the military leadership who are trying to make things more comfortable [for the detainees], but it’s not really about making the detainees more comfortable,” said the official. “It’s about placating the Beltway and making the p.r. war shift in our direction a little bit.” “A lot of these programs stem from that,” he added.

These prisoners are spoiled beyond belief. Too bad it’s costing us so much money to meet their every little demand.


Sesame Street is torture….

Sesame Street Allegedly Used to Torture Guantanamo Bay Prisoners

TMZ: Forget waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay prisoners are now being tortured by BIG BIRD — at least according to a new documentary released by Al Jazeera.

According to the doc — called “Songs of War” — detainees at the U.S. Naval base have been forced to wear headphones blaring Sesame Street music on repeat for hours or days on end … to break their will (start at 2:00).

Award-winning Sesame Street composer Christopher Cerf tells Al Jazeera, “My first reaction was this just can’t possibly be true … ”

Cerf says, “Of course I didn’t really like the idea that I was helping break down prisoners, but it was much worse when I heard later that they were actually using the music in Guantanamo to do deep, long-term interrogations and obviously to inflict enough pain on prisoners so they would talk.

Reports surfaced in 2008 … heavy metal like Metallica was used to torture people at Guantanamo — but we gotta say, Sesame Street might just be worse.

Hey Cerf, whose side are you on?  Do you not remember these images?

Screw Al Jazeera and their poor widdle fellow Muslims being tortured by Big Bird.  Keep the music pumping 24/7/365 for all I care!


Freed Guantanamo Prisoner Helps Al Qaeda Push Protests

Al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen released a web video Saturday calling for supporters to continue the protests across the Middle East.

The group also singled out Saudi Arabia for giving asylum to Tunisia’s ousted president. Won’t it be great when our biggest ally in the region – the country who agreed to produce more oil to help us keep gas prices down – is wrapped up in this violence too?

And the best part of all? Check out who the speaker on the video is:

The speaker on the audio tape is identified as Ibrahim al-Rubeish, a former detainee at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay lockup. The tape was produced by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen-based offshoot of the terror network, according to the SITE Intel group, a U.S.-based group that monitors extremist websites.

Any takers on how long it will take Obama to throw the Saudi government under the bus?