Freedom & Life: Of Turkeys & Men
Dear Mr. President:
Today is the official Presidential Turkey Pardon Day for 2009, your very first since taking office. I understand you are planning to fly your pardoned bird(s) First Class to California, where they will live at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland. How lucky are these birds, how kind of you to value their lives and freedom, and how generous of you to release them.
Mr. President, there are many innocent human beings who have been caged for over six years, under deplorable conditions, including torture – despite being innocent and having done nothing wrong. Their last ten months of detainment and torture have taken place under your watch, per your orders, and with your instructions.
Your Bagram military prison in Afghanistan currently houses over one thousand Afghan detainees who have never been charged, none of whom have ever been given the right to an attorney, and every one of whom has been kept as secret and unidentified.
Even the individuals who were brought there from other nations, and held there for over six years with no charges, are not allowed to have their cases heard or represented.
Former detainees say Bagram resembles a concentration camp, where people are beaten and tortured regularly.
Experts describe it as “Guantanamo’s lesser-known evil twin“.
One of your own generals, Major General Douglas M. Stone, who was charged by you to investigate Bagram, has been saying that many of these detainees in Bagram are in fact innocent.
Mr. President, to this date you have said and done nothing about this Human Rights Abuse of mammoth proportions. You have never even so much as mentioned Bagram in any of your speeches. Is that turkey you are freeing today entitled to more respect, rights, and freedom, than these long-caged and tortured innocent human beings?
Mr. President, please give these human beings half as much value as you give your turkey(s). Otherwise, Mr. President, be prepared, because next time you frown upon and point to the Chinese Government’s record on Human Rights, next time you speak out on the Iranian Regime’s flawed and undemocratic practices, next time you single out any nation for their absence of Human Rights values, you will be written off as a “turkey”, and your words will be laughed off as nothing but “Turkey Talk”, a meaningless repetition of words, gobble, gobble, gobble…
Sibel Edmonds, A Boiling Frog
[DS added the videos]
Bagram Prison Exposed
November 23, 2009
Two brothers and former prisoners at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan give their testimony about the harsh abuse they witnessed while being captured. Their tale is an example of just how difficult and complex the situation in Afghanistan is. To watch other videos or to sign the petition urging President Obama to Rethink Afghanistan policy go to: rethinkafghanistan.com
US unveils extended Bagram prison – 15 Nov 09
November 15, 2009
Bagram prison in Afghanistan has become almost as notorious as Guantanamo. But whilst the Obama administration has committed to closing the facility in Cuba, this one is here to stay.
In an attempt to get away from its controversial past, the prison has been given a facelift, as well as a new name – the Parwan Detention Facility.
The United States army opened it up for inspection to journalists in an unprecedented guided tour.
Our correspondent James Bays took a look around and sent this report. You can also read his notes on this report on his blog: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/asia/2009/…
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