Guantanamo Bay: January 2009 Archives

World Affairs Council event

| | TrackBacks (0)



  • 2/11/2009   6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
    Please arrive early for registration


  • World Affairs Council Auditorium


  • 312 Sutter Street 
    Second Floor
    San Francisco, California 94108
Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Laurel Fletcher, Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of California, Berkeley
Eric Stover, Director, Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley

Having denounced the detention camp as a "sad chapter in American history," President Obama has vowed to restore our nation's moral stature by closing the controversial facility.  As the world awaits definitive action, the Council welcomes Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover, co-authors of Guantánamo and its Aftermath, an in-depth study of former detainees.  In a conversation led by Elizabeth Farnsworth, Fletcher and Stover will discuss the implications of their study's findings, explore what measures are currently being taken by the US government and human rights organizations on Guantánamo, and propose recommendations for the Obama administration.      

Advanced registration is recommended for guaranteed seating. However, pre-registration is not required and walk-ins on the day of this program are welcome.

by Andy Worthington
January 12, 2009, The Huffington Post

Seven years ago, on January 11, 2002, when photos of the first orange-clad detainees to arrive at a hastily-erected prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba were made available to the world's press, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld reacted to the widespread uproar that greeted the images of the kneeling, shackled men, wearing masks and blacked-out goggles and with earphones completing their sensory deprivation, by stating that it was "probably unfortunate" that the photos were released.

As so often with Rumsfeld's pronouncements, it was difficult to work out quite what he meant. He appeared to be conceding that newspapers like Britain's right-wing Daily Mail, which emblazoned its front page with the word "torture," had a valid point to make, but what he actually meant was that it was unfortunate that the photos had been released because they had led to criticism of the administration's anti-terror policies.

Rumsfeld proceeded to make it clear that he had no doubts about the significance of the prisoners transferred to Guantánamo, even though their treatment was unprecedented. They were, in essence, part of a novel experiment in detention and interrogation, which involved being held neither as prisoners of war nor as criminal suspects but as "enemy combatants" who could be imprisoned without charge or trial. In addition, they were deprived of the protections of the Geneva Conventions so that they could be coercively interrogated, and then, when they did not produce the intelligence that the administration thought they should have produced, they were -- as a highly critical Senate Armed Services Committee report concluded last month -- subjected to Chinese torture techniques, taught in U.S. military schools to train American personnel to resist interrogation if captured.

But none of this mattered to Donald Rumsfeld. "These people are committed terrorists," he declared on January 22, 2002, in the same press conference at which he spoke about the photos. "We are keeping them off the street and out of the airlines and out of nuclear power plants and out of ports across this country and across other countries." On a visit to Guantanamo five days later, he called the prisoners "among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth."

Seven years after Guantanamo opened, it should be abundantly clear that neither Rumsfeld nor Vice President Dick Cheney, President Bush or any of the other defenders of Guantanamo who indulged in similarly hysterical rhetoric, had any idea what they were talking about.

Continue reading Worthington's Seven Years of Guantanamo, Seven Years of Torture and Lies.

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

Donations via PayPal
are not tax deductible.

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Guantanamo Bay category from January 2009.

Guantanamo Bay: December 2008 is the previous archive.

Guantanamo Bay: February 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.