June 2014 Archives

and the 505th day of the Guantanamo hunger strike. 

Guantanamo film stills

A scene from Guantánamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes.

"..the deliberate and systematic scourge of torture continues to be used by brutal and repressive regimes to control populations, extract information, stifle dissent, and suppress emerging movements... Countries who are parties to the Convention Against Torture, including the United States, should be urged to fulfill their legal and moral obligations to provide survivors "as full a rehabilitation as possible" and to fully and promptly investigate all credible allegations of torture and cruel treatment."

 -- Curt Goering, Center for Victims of Torture


Fight Impunity

mainstreaming torture

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The activity of identifying a group as an acceptable torture target simultaneously signals and confirms the non-human status of its members.

A recent federal court decision re-sanctions the force-feeding of hunger strikers at the Guantánamo prison. According to the UN and other international bodies, such practice inflicts pain, suffering and long-term injuries and constitutes torture. Forced cell extraction and the use of dangerous drugs to induce prisoner compliance add to the abuse. The military's refusal to disclose the number of hunger strikers violates President Obama's promise of government transparency and deprives the prisoners of their only means of communicating the deplorable conditions of their imprisonment. 

-- L. Michael Hager, International Development Law Organization, Rome

Americans should see force-feeding for what it is: another example of Guantánamo's shameful abuses.

779 men and boys, all of them Muslim, have been imprisoned over time at Guantánamo since January 2002.

86% were sold to the United States during a time when the U.S. military was offering large bounties for capture; commonly, $5,000 offered per man.

629 men have been transferred.

149 men remain detained. 

88 of them are from Yemen. 

78 have been cleared for release for years but remain imprisoned.

 of those who are cleared for release are Yemenis, but they continue to be detained because of their citizenship.

38 men have been designated for indefinite detention without charge or trial by President Obama's Task Force.

22 or more were children when taken to the detention camp.

More men (9) have died at Guantanamo than have been convicted (8) by the military commissions.

8 years is the longest hunger strike by a man at Guantanamo. It's still going.

0 senior government officials have been held accountable for the wrongful detention and torture at Guantanamo.

Guantánamo by the Numbers, c/o Center for Constitutional Rights

Even by U.S. standards, it takes some big stones to justify attacking a nation that never attacked, or threatened to attack, you, then pretending that you know about weapons of mass destruction, then getting caught lying and then not only not apologizing and immediately withdrawing but doubling down (the "surge")...

When you broadcast every day that an isolated Middle Eastern dictatorship is a totalitarian beast bent on reducing America to ashes and irradiated rubble, when you appease lawbreakers like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and John Yoo, when you say that antiwar activists would literally destroy the country if they could, to score cheap political points, you can't profess surprise when some people decide that war is the only means of forestalling the disaster you have warned them about.

The damage done by 'moderates'

The University of California welcomed 'torture memos' author John Yoo's return to academia in 2004 and continues to refuse investigation of misconduct charges against the professor. We demand application of ethical standards former dean Christopher Edley chose to ignore.

Yoo's rulings caused immeasurable suffering: thousands have been subjected to torture, tens of thousands incarcerated, tens of millions spied upon, and over 600,000 deaths have been attributed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Despite repudiation by peers, and rejection of his work at the Office of Legal Counsel by the same (Bush) regime that hired him to legalize the unconscionable, Yoo continues to be given credence, advocating for militarization of outer space, a lethal strike on Iran, and the current president's killer drone program.

A university that allows a war criminal to teach constitutional and international law courses to the next generation of lawyers and judges under prejudice of 'academic freedom' is protecting war crimes.

It is our responsibility to call out criminals and enablers alike.

UC Berkeley Billboard

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Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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