Thursday, July 18, 2013


OMNI GUANTANAMO NEWSLETTER #7, July 18, 2013.   Compiled by Dick Bennett, for a Culture of Peace and Justice.   Guantanamo: A Disaster of the War on Terror and the US Culture of War.  (#1 March 3, 2011; #2 Dec. 11, 2011; #3 January 21, 2012; #4 Jan. 16, 2013; #5 May 3, 2013; #6 June 17, 2013)

“Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay:  $900,000.  At a supermax prison in the United States [in CO, IL]: $65,000.”  “Harper’s Index,” Harper’s (August 2013).  [While the US at home faces sequestration, austerity, cutbacks of jobs and services.  --Dick]

My blog:   War Department/Peace Department
My Newsletters:
Visit OMNI’s Library.

See Bill of Rights, Geneva Conventions, Human Rights, International Torture Protest Day, Torture, Torture Awareness Month, US Lawlessness, War on Terrorism, and related newsletters.

JUNE IS UN TORTURE AWARENESS MONTH.   In 2013 OMNI MARKED THE MONTH by three protests:  1)  On June 22, 2013 in Fayetteville,  10 a.m. at Federal Bldng.    2)  June 26, UN International Torture Victims DAY.   Film:  War on Whistleblowers, 7pm at OMNI.  3)  July 17, 2013, OMNI held a Book Forum on these subjects at OMNI 7 pm under the general subject of the US “War on Terrorism.”.  July 17 marks UN JUSTICE DAY in support of the ICC:  International Criminal Court, the great purpose of which is to say to criminals in high places they cannot commit high crimes with impunity.

The protests include a wide range of reprehensible--immoral and illegal-- behavior by our government:  systematic distortion of language (“detainees” for prisoners stripped of Constitutional protections and imprisoned indefinitely), secret kidnap and kill missions by JSOC: Joint Special Operations Command, drone “targeted killings” (assassination, murder accompanied by killing innocent people), training indigenous occupied people to do our police and military work (another old colonial practice), and more.   

This newsletter on Guantanamo continues these actions against US criminalities that have been justified by the so-called “War Against Terrorism,” itself part of the serial wars (virtually permanent war) initiated and sustained by the US Empire.

We told and we will be telling our leaders we abhor the systematic distortion of language: torture, assassination/murder, and the killing of innocent civilians.   The action is called OMNI PROTESTS THE “WAR ON TERRORISM,” PERMANENT WAR, AND THEIR HARMS.     At the same time, let’s thank the United Nations for all the HELP it provides the world, which would be multiplied a hundredf-fold were it given the funds and authority.

"I refuse to live in a country like this, and I'm not leaving"
Michael Moore

#3, #4 and #5 at end

Contents #6  June 17, 2013
The Nation, Obama Walk Your Talk
ACLU, Time to End Despair
   Google Search Results May 8, 2013
Sprusansky, Indefinite Detention
Worthington, New Releases from Guantanamo—to Mauritania
Solidarity with Guantanamo Prisoners
Neumann, Forced Feeding in US Prisons
Google Search June 17, 2013

Contents #7
CCR Petition to Close Gitmo
World Can’t Wait Petition and Advertising Campaign
Druding, Argument for Closing Gitmo
Forced Feeding
Knefel, Prisoner Stories
USS Cole Bombing Suspect
Savage, Prisoner Repatriated to Sudan
Pilkington, Indefinite Detention List—46 Prisoners--   Identified
New Book: Hickman, Selling Guantanamo
Dick, To Protect National Security

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), website: sponsors this petition. (fwd by David D)
CLOSE GITMO petition below can be found online at:

To: President Obama, Chuck Hagel, Secr., Dept of Defense,     Ashton Carter, Ass't Secr, Dept of Defense

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 20500

Re: Concern about hunger strike and stalled efforts to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to urge you to take immediate steps to end indefinite detention without charge and begin closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. If ever there was a moment to act upon the promise you made more than four years ago to close Guantánamo and begin to restore America’s reputation as the champion of the rule of law, it is now.

For several weeks, major news outlets, attorneys for the detainees, and even military officials have reported that there is a hunger strike occurring among a significant number of the men detained at Guantánamo. As a detention facility official told reporters during their visit the week of April 15, “there will be more than one death.” The current situation is the predictable result of continuing to hold detainees indefinitely without charge for more than eleven years. Therefore, I urge you to begin working to transfer the remaining detained men to their home countries or other countries for resettlement, or to charge them in a court that comports with standards we would accept if it was Americans on trial. I also urge you to appoint an individual within your administration to lead the transfer effort.

Specifically, I ask that you:

1) Direct Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel to use his authority to issue the certifications or national security waivers required by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2013) to effect transfers from Guantánamo.

2) Appoint an individual within your Administration to lead the effort to close Guantánamo.

3) Announce a concrete and specific plan to close the facility. As a first step and a clear signal that this is the beginning of a new chapter in Guantánamo’s legacy, you should immediately release Shaker Aamer and Djamel Ameziane.

I urge you to order the relevant authorities to take swift measures to humanely and lawfully address the immediate causes of the hunger strike in a manner consistent with international standards of medical ethics before irreparable harm occurs to the detainees. Moreover, I urge you to take steps to address the root of the problem by fulfilling your promise to close Guantánamo without further delay. While I stand ready to support the Administration’s efforts to close Guantánamo Bay in a manner consistent with its international legal obligations, this problem demands the leadership that only you as the President of the United States can provide. I urge you to act now.
[Your name]

See full-page ad in The Progressive (July 2013).

World Can't Wait


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Flier: Support the Prisoners Hunger Strike — Close Guantanamo Now!

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Gitmo Hunger StrikeUpdated May 7, 2013

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IN 2002, the Bush regime set up a primitive prison camp at a U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Several hundred men were subjected to “enhanced interrogation”, what the rest of the world calls torture. Most had been turned in for $5,000 cash bounties the U.S. paid, and had no connection to attacks on the U.S. 157 haven't ever been charged and 86 were cleared for release years ago.
Obama has the power to release the 86 cleared, but has not. Congress has legislated to block Guantanamo’s closure; federal courts have blocked prisoners’ rights to sue, and denied their petitions for habeas corpus. The few that have been charged will not be tried because the abuse and torture they suffered at government hands would be revealed.
Prisoners are desperately trying to get the world’s attention by refusing to eat, some of them since early February 2013. The hunger strike has grown to 130 men. The media is no longer ignoring it. Obama had to address it in a recent press conference. He said Guantanamo hurts America’s standing and doesn’t keep America safe and never mentioned the immense suffering these men have endured. Obama said he would need to go back to Congress with the issue.
166 men remain imprisoned at Guantananamo Bay.
157 haven’t been charged and 86 have been cleared for release.
May 17-19 Global Days of Action Mark 100 Days of Hunger Strike
The truth is that Obama could close Guantanamo today and doesn’t need Congress . The otherwise dangerous National Defense Authorization Act includes waiver provisions that give the Obama Administration the legal authority to transfer detainees from Guantánamo. Obama justified force feeding, a brutal procedure in which a tube is shoved into the nose and liquids are pumped down the throat while prisoners are strapped down in a chair. The United Nations Human Rights Commission, The World Medical Association, and the American Medical Association denounce force feeding as torture and/or unethical.
One thing is clear to people of conscience and that is Obama must close Guantanamo now! We must do what we can to create a political situation where Obama releases the cleared prisoners and closes Guantanamo. It was always wrong and no government should be able to do such things.
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·                                 Support Bradley Manning Flier - June 29, 2013
·                                 "We have to put our lives on the line to force CDCR to do what's right" - June 26, 2013
·                                 Report on the Emergency Forum at Cooper Union - June 24, 2013
·                                 “Yes, I Am Guilty, but it's Not What You're Thinking” - June 24, 2013
·                                 Government Spying Chills Free Speech - June 24, 2013
·                                 Obama: the Architect of Making it So Much Worse - June 24, 2013
Main  Take Action  Materials  Flier: Support the Prisoners Hunger Strike — Close Guantanamo Now!

1.                             Flier: Support the Prisoners Hunger Strike — Close Guantanamo Now! › Take Action  Materials
The truth is that Obama could close Guantanamo today and doesn't need Congress . The otherwise dangerous National Defense Authorization Act includes ...

2.                             Why Obama Can & Should Close Guantanamo NOW › Obama
May 15, 2013 – Memorably, they've made speeches and passed resolutions — and tried to pass laws — saying Guantanamo, specificially, can't be closed, nor ...

3.                             Help Spread the Close Guantanamo Message - The World Can't Wait! › Calls to Action
Now that you've read the Close Guantanamo ad in The New York Times, here's what... World Can't Wait is a nationwide organization dedicated to stopping the ...

4.                             World Can't Wait - Salsa!
World Can't Wait - Stop the Crimes of Your Government. ... trials, or any evidence other than what only Obama and his close advisers deem sufficient. At least ... We demand the release of the cleared Guantanamo prisoners now, and an end to ...

5.                             Over a thousand activists sign full-page ad to close Guantanamo ...
May 23, 2013 – The ad, titled “CLOSE GUANTANAMO NOW,” calls to “stop the ...World Can't Wait is a national movement formed to halt and reverse war, ...

6.                             What the New York Times Ad “Close Guantanamo Now!” Signifies ...
May 21, 2013 – (From the Close Guantanamo Now! Statement). This week World Can't Wait will be running a full-page advocacy ad in The New York Times, ...

7.                             Close Guantánamo Now! -
May 26, 2013 – The "Close Guantánamo Now!" statement, organized by World Can't Wait, appeared in the front "A" section of the New York Times on Thursday, ...

8.                             Join the Campaign to Close Guantanamo | PopularResistance.Org
Jun 19, 2013 – Close Guantanamo NOW. 7:00 pm, Wednesday, June 19. 7 E 7th Street and the Bowery. Sponsored by World Can't Wait and the Continuing ...

9.                             WORLD CAN'T WAIT
5 days ago – Check back here soon for local events on April 11: National Day of Action. The world can't wait - Close Guantanamo Now. More photos here ...

10.                         Why Obama Can & Should Close Guantanamo NOW - OpEdNews
May 19, 2013 – While promoting the message to Close Guantanamo that we are raising ... Debra Sweet is the Director of World Can't Wait, initiated in 2005 to ...

GITMO background & current situation By David Druding, Presented June 22, 2013

The short Spanish American War of 1898 resulted from American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. Guantánamo Bay had commercial importance because of its sugar port & US needing a coaling station there for coal fired steam powered commercial sugar transport & military ships. The US military base there, ofter referred to as GTMO, has been in continuous operation since the Spanish were expelled by Cuban rebel & US troops on June 10, 1898. This “new” U.S. Naval Base was not formalized until 5 yrs later, when a 1903 "coaling and Naval station" lease was acquired.

The Guantanamo Bay US Naval Station = GTMO occupies 45 sq.miles (120 km2) at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The “lease”, contested by the Cuban Republic almost immediately after its signature, recognizes that the Cuban govt holds ultimate sovereignty over Guantánamo Bay but gave the US "complete jurisdiction & control" of the area.

Since 2002 GTMO also houses a prison by the same name, GTMO, established by Pres Bush. It holds detainees Bush believed to be opponents of his
Global War on Terror from Afghanistan & later from Iraq, the Horn of Africa & SE Asia.

Bush political appointee lawyers & his Sec of Defense Rumsfeld claimed that GTMO prison was outside U.S. legal jurisdiction & at the same time outside any int'l protection from the Geneva Conventions. Military guards took the first 20 captives to Guantanamo on Jan 11, '02. The camp operated without ANY domestic or int'l rules in place for over 2yrs until US Supreme Court decided in '04 that Geneva Accord int'l laws DID apply.

Currently over 11yrs after its establishment GITMO prisoners have repeatedly testified of abuse and torture. While Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfeld all denied this, Susan Crawford, Bush appointee, told the press in Jan, 09 that Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured there thus acknowledging the Bush administration had in fact tortured detainees at GTMO. In '05 Amnesty Int'l called GTMO “the gulag of our times" calling for its closure. This was also requested by Amnesty Int'l. May '05, by the UN, Feb '06 & Euro U. May, '06. Thus far US has refused repeated worldwide requests to close this US prison on Cuban soil.

In 1986, GTMO became host to the first & only McDonald's restaurant in Cuba operated by the Dept of Navy. Prisoners cooperating with interrogations have been rewarded with Happy Meals from there. 

On Jun 10, '06, DofD released news that 3 detainees committed suicide by hanging themselves. During his presidential campaign early in '08 Obama pledged to close GTMO within 1yr if elected. On Jan 22 '09, Pres Obama signed an order to suspend the Guantanamo military commission & to shut down the detention facility within the year. But he has not continued to follow thru with this pledge since a military judge rejected his initial plan to transfer detainees from this prison in Cuba a week after his announcement. On Jan 7, 2011,  Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, which placed restrictions on the transfer of GTMO prisoners to the mainland or to foreign countries, further impeding GTMO closure.

Up until now critics had pointed to Obama's refusal to choose an aide to assist with the implementation of his blocked '09 executive order. Obama recently appointed an aide for this purpose. Some believe this decision is a result of the fact that 133 prisoners out of a total 166 have begun a hunger strike now in its 136th day.  43 of these protesting prisoners are now being restrained in “force feeding chairs” and painfully force fed with plastic tubes inserted up their noses. US AMA doctors last week drafted & signed a document in which they urged their fellow doctors working for the military prison to, Stop force feeding competent people. It is not the practice of medicine. It is aggravated assault.”

Earlier this week the military responded to this AMA doctors' statement saying that painfully force feeding prisoners is legal according to military law and the AMA doctors who signed this statement were only expressing their personal “opinions, not facts”. The military reported none of their doctors have objected to participating in this program. Our job is to keep these men alive.”

Of the 12 original detainees brought to GITMO  Jan '02, seven of them were found to be innocent of any wrongdoing and have still remained imprisoned for over 11yrs. Obama stated earlier this week that 48 of the 166 being held must remain in custody without charges for indefinite detention because they are “too dangerous” to let go.  These men include 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, 3 Saudis, 2 Kuwaitis, 2 Libyans, a Kenyan, Moroccan and Somali. 2 of the Afghans committed suicide or 1 from heart attack since the list was compiled, leaving 46 prisoners who will continue to be held without charges. The other 118 could & should have been released long ago. Many have now been held in prison for over a decade since being cleared for release.


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Force-Feeding procedures followed by US prison staff at GTMO

Two feeding tubes and cans of Ensure inside the detainee hospital at Guantanamo Bay. (photo: Getty Images) 
Two feeding tubes and cans of Ensure inside the detainee hospital at Guantanamo Bay. (photo: Getty Images)

A Guide to Force-Feeding

By Michael Keller, Clarisa Diaz and Abby Haglage, The Daily Beast
21 June 13
 At Guantanamo Bay, 44 hunger strikers are kept alive with an incredibly painful, ethically questionable, and politically sensitive procedure. Here, in excruciating detail, is how it works.
risoners say it's unbearably awful. One lawyer calls it 'brutal, inhuman, and merciless.' A recent article in a medical journal called it 'aggravated assault.' What exactly is force-feeding, and should the U.S. government be forcing it upon dozens of inmates at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba? Below, a step-by-step explanation. For more on the ongoing quagmire, click here.
Step 1
Guards strap the detainee down and put a mask over his face that keeps his mouth from moving so he can't spit or bite.
Step 2
A sterile surgical lubricant such as olive oil is applied to the nostril. The feeding tube, which can be as large as the nostril itself, is snaked into the nasal cavity. Patients report extreme pain and excessive tearing up during this step since this area is rich in nerve endings.
Step 3
The tube continues down through the throat, creating a tightness that makes breathing difficult. At this point, patients typically feel pressure on their chest and lungs. Some say it feels like they're drowning.
Step 4
Staff tape the tube to the detainee's nose to prevent biting or swallowing it. Eighty to 750 ml of a nutritional substance, such as Ensure, is funneled through the tube. Reglan, a drug to aid digestion and known to cause Parkinsons-like side effects if taken for long periods, can be given if the detainee is "nauseated or bloating after tube insertion."
Step 5
The procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. After which, the tube is slowly pulled out. Until the body becomes accustomed to force-feeding, many patients suffer from chronic diarrhea, abdominal distension, bloating, cramping, and constipation.


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Book Data

ISBN: 9781931498647
Year Added to Catalog: 2004
Book Format: Paperback
Book Art: Bibliography, Resources, Appendices
Number of Pages: 5.375 x 8.375, 184 pages
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Old ISBN: 1931498644
Release Date: June 1, 2004
Web Product ID: 328

Also in Politics & Social Justice


What the World Should Know

by Michael Ratner, Ellen Ray.   2004

Including Anthony Lewis

Many of us already know that imperial policies abroad undermine democracy at home. Guantánamo: What the World Should Know drives this point home like a nail through butter. Abusing people and violating international law will make us less secure, not more secure, and the policies of the Bush administration must be reversed as a priority issue of national security.
Dr. Kevin Danaher, cofounder of Global Exchange

Michael Ratner
Named One of America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers

The National Law Journal

On Sale Now! Get the facts on why Amnesty International calls Guantánamo "the gulag of our time".

In the months following its initial release, Guantánamo: What the World Should Know has proved to be a disturbingly accurate account of the Bush administration's tangle with civil liberties and torture. Written by Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights President and co-consul on the case of Rasul v. Bush)and Ellen Ray (Institute for Media Analysis President), Guantanamo is the most authoritative documentation to date on President Bush's moves toward a network of detention centers--a system without accountability, which flouts U.S. and international law.
With a resource section that includes the Gonzales memo to President Bush and excerpts from the Geneva Conventions, Guantanamo provides strong evidence of Ratner explains how Gonzales and the Bush Administration are acting to radically alter America's historic commitment to civil and human rights, and why all Americans should resist what is being done in our name.
Gathered together for the first time, Guantánamo: What the World Should Know includes the governmental memoranda that led to the conditions at the Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and beyond.
Ratner and Ray give the definitive account of what led to the current conditions at Guantánamo and the importance of continuing to fight against the violations of U.S. and international law undertaken by the United States since 9-11. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned with the rule of law, liberty, democracy--and the right to dissent.

Guantánamo is part of the "Politics of the Living" series, a collection of hard-hitting works by major writers exposing the global governmental and corporate assault on life.

About the Authors

Michael Ratner

Michael Ratner is President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He serves as co-counsel in Rasul v. Bush, the historic case of Guantánamo detainees currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Under Ratner's leadership, the Center has aggressively challenged the constitutional and international law violations undertaken by the United States post-9/11, including the constitutionality of indefinite detention and the restrictions on civil liberties as defined by the unfolding terms of a permanent war. In the 1990s Ratner acted as a principal counsel in the successful suit to close the camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees on Guantánamo Bay. He has ...
View Michael's full profile page >

Ellen Ray

Ellen Ray is President of the Institute for Media Analysis and the author and editor of numerous books and magazines on U.S. intelligence and international politics. She is co-editor with William Schaap of Bioterror: Manufacturing Wars the American Way and Covert Action: The Root of Terrorism, both published by Ocean Press in 2003. ...
View Ellen's full profile page >

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Status: Available to Ship
Ships: Next day
Quantity: 1   +  – 

Additional Information

·                                 Overview
·                                 Praise
·                                 Articles By This Author
·                                 Associated Articles
·                                 Associated Articles 2
·                                 Excerpt
·                                 Excerpt #2
·                                 Excerpt #3
·                                 For The Media
·                                 Interview
·                                 On The Air
·                                 Resources
·                                 Reviews
·                                 Table Of Contents

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Selling Guantánamo: Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Military Prison
John Hickman.  UP of Florida, 2013. 

Pubdate: 5/14/2013


"Challenges nearly all of our comfortable assumptions about Guantánamo. Hickman’s book is a bold and provocative reading of the available record, backed by a deep understanding of the political reality."--Joseph Margulies, author of Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power

In the aftermath of 9/11, few questioned the political narrative provided by the White House about Guantánamo and the steady stream of prisoners delivered there from half a world away. The Bush administration gave various rationales for the detention of the prisoners captured in the War on Terror: they represented extraordinary threats to the American people, possessed valuable enemy intelligence, and were awaiting prosecution for terrorism or war crimes. Both explicitly and implicitly, journalists, pundits, lawyers, academics, and even released prisoners who authored books about the island prison endorsed elements of the official narrative. 
In Selling Guantánamo, John Hickman exposes the holes in this manufactured story. He shines a spotlight on the critical actors, including Rumsfeld, Cheney, and President Bush himself, and examines how the facts belie the "official" accounts. He chastises the apologists and the critics of the administration, arguing that both failed to see the forest for the trees. 
By looking at historical examples of prisoners held in continued custody during asymmetric conflicts and national security crises--including different tribes of Native Americans held at Fort Pickens and in St. Augustine, British Fascists imprisoned on the Isle of Man, and Haitian "boat people" detained at Guantánamo--Hickman unravels the putative from the proven and reveals exactly why the current internment of prisoners at the infamous naval base is so unprecedented and unique. Constructing his argument from the existing domestic and international record, he offers an alternate theory that completely contradicts the narrative spun by the Bush administration: the prisoners were put on display as symbols of military victory, punished as substitutes for the architects of 9/11 who remained at large, and used as pawns in a neoconservative move to signal a new U.S. foreign policy that ignored the United Nations, disregarded the Geneva Conventions, and scoffed at the International Criminal Court.

John Hickman
 is associate professor of government at Berry College.

Of Related Interest by UP of Florida
·                                 Reversing Relations with Former Adversaries
Edited by C. Richard Nelson and Kenneth Weisbrode for the At
Law above Nations
Edited by Mary L. Volcansek

Contents of #3  Jan. 21, 2012

Bush, Congress, Courts, Obama, Public Lawlessness

Kurnaz, Gitmo Survivor After 5 Years

Obama Signs “Battlefield Bill” for Indefinite Detention

January 11 Resistance Coalition

Witness Against Torture and Catholic Worker:   January 11, 2012

Witness Against Torture and War Resisters League

In Addition to Gitmo:   US Terrorism Prison Complex, Torture Systematic

Greenwald Book on Bush/Obama: With Liberty and Justice for Some

Contents of #4, Jan. 16, 2013
Petition to Pres. Obama from Some Senior Democrats
Obama: Close Guantanamo
Gitmo/Bagram Legacy
Torture Memos
Romero (ACLU), Why Guantanamo Not Closed
Trotta, Dreams Deferred
Egypt Demands Return of Its Citizen

Contents #5  May 6, 2013
Code Pink Pledge
Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel:  11 Years, No Charge, No Trial
Giffey, Witness to Guantanamo (W2G): Oral History
Hansen, Obama and Guantanamo
Hansen, Humanity of the Prisoners
Walker, Year Twelve
Rich, Obama’s Failure


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