Release from Captivity ALL the Remaining Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by Daniel N. White

Camp x-ray detainees

Photo by Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Daniel N. White
Guest Writer, Dandelion Salad
January 22, 2022

In response to Karen Greenberg’s article, Jan. 20, 2022:

Dear Ms Greenberg:

Enjoyed reading your latest. Was most interested in what it didn’t say about closing Guantanamo, releasing its last inmates, and the law.

Lets go back to when the prisoners first got there, and let’s look at this picture taken in the first run of journalists: (see photo above)

This picture was taken in January of 2002. It shows sensory deprivation torture ongoing. Note prisoners blindfolded, earmuffed, mittened, and bound. The USG, all branches associated with the Guantanamo operation, signed off on the release of these pictures, and therefore those branches of the USG all signed off on the matter of torture as a USG approved policy. The USG was therefor freely and fully broadcasting its glad-happy defiance of the Geneva Conventions, its own FM 27-10, and the European Court of Human Right’s verdicts on same (when performed by the British government against IRA prisoners during the Troubles).

All sorts of other people signed off on it as well. This includes the almost entirety of your profession, almost all of whom stayed silent on these Page 1 Nationwide photos’ release (The NLG boys and girls entirely excepted), the entire of the chattering classes (I don’t ever recall a single mention of sensory deprivation ever in print EVER regarding these pictures), and elected members of Congress. (I showed up at a local book signing held by Texas’ Senator Barbie Doll, {Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R, JD} and asked her about it, and what she had to say about this open violation of law. Her reply was something about how bad the Taliban were to women and children. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, as liberal a pol there is in Texas, acknowledged the illegality and ruefully said that we’d better be bankrolling for the court judgements we were going to be losing from this. No sign of any bankrolling, much less any judgements, yet. He’s also a JD and a former Texas Supreme Court justice.)

Here’s what I think is the best we can do to set things right. Appropriate members of the USG, as well as the most senior members of the US Bar, need to stage a ceremony at Guantanamo and release from captivity ALL the remaining prisoners. We need to then provide them, as well as ALL other prior Guantanamo released detainees, US passports and a lifetime monthly paycheck for the rest of their lives. They can go off to wherever in this world they want that will have them, and they won’t lack for living expenses for the remainder of their days. The entirely innocent detainees, and the entirely guilty ones, they have all done lengthy spells in prison, and undergone monstrous and monstrously unwarranted and utterly militarily unproductive and unwarranted lengthy spells of torture, and thus we have no moral right any more to claim any right to subject them to anything more of our entirely morally corrupt government and legal processes and legal profession. They need to be free of them all for all the rest of their lives. (Provided, of course, they don’t go off and do anything further illegalities affecting US citizens. Nobody gets more than one get-out-of-jail-free card in their lifetime.)

Myself I think that most all of the detainees have earned that. The worst of the guilty, well they are the undeserving recipients of justice for all. ALL. Our society and people, our government, and in particular your profession are going to have to acknowledge the rightness, appropriateness, and justice of our accepting responsibility for our wrongful seizure and torture of these individuals, and our willingness to let some of the most evil and undeserving murderers on this earth go free because our torture of them for so long, and our holding them for more than 20 years without trial, means that we in fact do in fact believe in fact that we do not torture and we do not engage in practices of indefinite detention. Anywhere, anytime. We accept and acknowledge responsibility for our doing so with these men and if the guilty and undeserving get the benefit of our doing this, well then, we further acknowledge that that is the price we as a people and society have to pay for our overarching belief in due process of law, at all times, under all circumstances.

Twenty years on, it is the only right thing to do. The fact that nobody in your profession seems to be saying this, not a soul, anywhere, well, that’s just more evidence for the question of your profession’s worthiness for its positions of power in our society. That, and their distinct lack of imagination. Imagination and moral courage. Stop making your stupid arguments about getting the legal process going for these men. We have done wrong to all of them. Man up and just say so and let them all go free.

Sincerely,

Daniel N. White

See also:

TV and Radio: I Discuss Guantánamo’s 20th Anniversary on Turkish TV, and with Scott Horton and Rebecca Myles, by Andy Worthington

Five More Prisoners Approved for Release from Guantánamo: 18 of the 39 Remaining Men Are Now Waiting to Be Freed, by Andy Worthington

From the archives:

Chris Hedges: Michael Ratner’s Memoir, Moving the Bar – My Life as A Radical Lawyer

Chris Hedges and Andy Worthington: Over 17 Years of Detention and Torture at Guantanamo Bay Prison

Guantánamo, Torture and the Trump Agenda + The Hideous Pointlessness of Donald Trump’s Executive Order Keeping Guantánamo Open by Andy Worthington

GTMO 2016 + Guantánamo Diary: Torture and Detention Without Charge

Shaker Aamer Released from Guantanamo Bay Prison

Watch the Shocking New Animated Film About the Guantánamo Hunger Strike by Andy Worthington

Andy Worthington and David Remes: GITMO – The Rule of Law and the NDAA

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