Vigilance

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

When the newly inaugerated President Obama signed that EO ordering the closing of G’mo last January I cheered. Right alongside many here at Docudharma who wrote countless detailed and compassionate essays on the whole subject. I thank you for my education and your vigilance … Jeff Kaye (Valtin), PDND, Buhdydharma, and more.

h/t to jimstaro (he embedded in his comments in his essay), the Miami Herald has this compelling video.

Today marks the first day of the Witness Against Torture effort by these folks who begin today in D.C. with a rally:

Today, activists and Guantanamo lawyers mark the anniversary by demanding that President Obama make good on his pledge to close the prison as first step towards restoring the rule of law. Further, the group opposes any plan for holding prisoners without charge or trial in the U.S. and denounces the White House’s expansion of Bush-style detention in Afghanistan.

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I’m just going to point to a few good pieces that I hope you will have time to review.

Right here at “home” please see jimstaro’s essay and comments, Iraq War Inquiry.

At FDL’s The Seminal, this is a great piece from Jim White with a lotta linkage.

Today is the eighth anniversary of the first transfer of prisoners to Guantanamo. At nearly a year after President Obama promised to close it, Guantanamo remains a legal and moral quagmire.

At Common Dreams: Eight Years of Guantánamo: What’s Changed? by Frida Berrigan.

The response to Flight 253 hasn’t only been long lines, body scans at airports, and mea culpas from security agencies. There are also swift, loud and vicious proclamations from Republican leaders and conservative media that the only way to ensure security is to blast at our enemies and the rule of law with both barrels. Send “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to Guantánamo and keep the prison open forever. Suspend plans for civilian trials of terror suspects. Revive “enhanced interrogations.” Summarily execute al-Qaeda suspects.

The Obama administration hasn’t publicly challenged this nonsense. It has, however, already made a sad concession to this fear-mongering by suspending the release of all Yemeni men from Guantánamo, even those who have been cleared through the government’s extensive Guantánamo Review Task Force. This decision, which condemns innocent men to months or years of more illegal detention, confirms a pattern of the Obama administration promising change but delivering more of the same.

In a hurry? Look at this scorecard from CCR.

Numerical Summary

Total Habeas Cases Decided: 41

Habeas Cases Granted: 32

Habeas Cases Denied: 9

Habeas Granted and Released: 20

Habeas Granted and Still Detained: 12

Current Guantanamo Population: 198

Finally, Andy Worthington marks 700 Blog Posts and the 8th year of G’mo with this post. God bless this man.

So thank you again, everyone. Please keep the comments coming to my site, to my inbox and on Facebook. The supportive words really count, as we enter a new year and a new decade that shows no sign of allowing those of us who can see pressing problems ahead – beyond constant warmongering and hysteria about terrorist threats, whether real or imagined – to move beyond the disastrous legacy of the Bush years, and to begin to shape the new world that we need to work towards if our children are to have a meaningful life beyond our general selfishness and stupidity.

In the meantime, I remain committed to doing all I can to overturn the brutalizing effect of those long years of Bush and Cheney, and to keep maintaining the pressure on Barack Obama to understand that tinkering with an illegal and immoral monstrosity is not the same as repudiating it, and to understand that capitulating to the idiocy of opportunistic fearmongers may be pragmatic, but along the way it destroys all principles.

Never look away.

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16 comments

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    • Inky99 on January 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Read this, but not if you’re already in a really bad mood:

    Torture Is Continuing Under the Obama Administration, Creating More Terrorists and Further Destabilizing the Economy

    Depressing.

    Meanwhile, Firedoglake is saying that Obama paid that “consultant” 780,000 in taxpayer money to shill for the HCR.  

    • pfiore8 on January 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    for unrequited political promise . . . gitmo.

    it’s amazing how one little freak can gain presidential office and just do shit and nobody says a word.

    now we have man, an educated and articulate man, who seems to sputter along, dog-paddling as all the promise dwindles. it’s worse than losing a job. it’s losing belief. not even something as obvious as hope. it is something else.

    i don’t know what.

  2. egads… dont look at the comments there. Unless you want to get totally discouraged and disgusted. gah. well. its what we’re up against though.

  3. vigil goes through Jan 22, “officially”.

    • Edger on January 12, 2010 at 12:39 am

    link…

       It was someone very close to me, serving the last of several enlistments in the US Navy to include SEAL school, who initially brought the torturing of detainees to my attention back when we all first saw the photos of folks in orange jump suits kneeling behind fences at GITMO. He asked, “You know those guys are being tortured, don’t you?” “Huh?!” I replied, not understanding the effects and goal of the stress position. He then went on to tell me exactly how it works, ending with, “Go kneel on your driveway like that for four hours, if you can make it that long, and see if you can even walk afterward.” He also told me of the treatment of intercepted Haitian refugees at the hands of Navy personnel that I would consider torture.

       For any of you who may be interested and missed them, check out the relevant interrogation manuals available at George Washington University’s National Security Archive (“Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past”), especially the 1963 KUBARK* manual. The gist of the military’s post-WWII/Vietnam era approach was to use advances in psychology and related fields to switch to indirect methods that force the person being tortured to fight against themself instead of having a torturer upon whom to direct their attention: self-defeat being more complete and effective than defeat by another which may include external resistance and resentment. Thus the introduction of stress positions, and other passive, non-aggressive measures instead of hot lights and rubber hoses. Apart from the more complete capitulation and destruction of the tortured, the side benefit is that to many outside observers the techniques do not look like torture or even cruel and unusual punishment (fraternity pranks, anyone?).

  4. Well put together!

    BTW, Valtin, had another dairy here — unfortunately, the time for recommending and commenting are up.

    Under Auspices of the Armfy Field Manual, Ongoing Torture Interrogations Continue at Guantanamo

    So much talk — so little Change!

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