Guantanamo Guard Speaks Out; Former US Chief Prosecutor Condemns ‘law-free zone’

It is amazing how George Bush and Dick Cheney did everything in their power to make America and Americans more hated around the world than ever in the history of our nation.

It is a not insignificant legacy, in only eight short years to turn the nation that was the guiding beacon of hope for democracy and freedom, into a virtual police state where adherence to the Constitution and the Rule of Law have been pretty much kicked into the dust bin of history.

Tea bagging supporters of the corporate financed, war mongering, neo-con right wing attended political rallies during the last presidential campaign carrying semi-automatic rifles, and were reported and praised in the corporate media, and shrugged at by our masters and overlords in Congress.

Now we have those exercising their rights to freedom of speech and free assembly to address wrongs as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement being shot with rubber bullets in Oakland, resulting in an Iraq vet with a skull fracture, protesters in New York and Colorado being beaten with batons, shot in the face with mace and pepper spray. Oh, I did I mention there is not a single report of an OWS protestor waving their semi-automatics in the air?

Of course this sort of mentality goes with the sick minds that chose to set up our prison camp down in Guantanamo, as well as setting up a program of kidnapping and secret rendition and putting prisoners in prisons in other countries, so we could violate and abandon every principle this nation has ever stood for, and abuse and torture our prisoners of war in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the twin towers.

Bush and Cheney and Rumsfield are guilty of war crimes. Nothing more. Nothing less. They have brought out nation to the brink of economic, political, and moral collapse.

That they have not even been condemned by America, much less actually tried and convicted as they deserve, is just more evidence of how far this nation has fallen into moral decay. It is little justice to know that Bush and Rumsfield have had to cancel foreign trips because they risk being arrested in certain nations and tried for their war crimes. We should be putting our own legal and moral house back in order, before it is too late.

It also does not help that President Obama is continuing those very same policies, instead of putting an end to them by closing down Guantanamo immediately.

Read the following statements by someone who served as a guard at Guantanamo.

Below that, read the frank and chilling statements by the former US Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo.

Then weep for America, and its current descent into tyranny, and the destruction of those very freedoms we claim to be defending.

Editor’s note: Nearly three years after President Obama declared the Guantanamo prison for terrorist suspects would be closed, the camp in Cuba remains open. Of the more than 750 inmates that were once held there, fewer than 200 remain now. CNN contributor Jenifer Fenton interviewed some of the former inmates, and one of the guards.

“I didn’t really understand what a terrorist was going to look like. I know that sounds funny and really naive. I was kind of shocked that a lot of them were very little and malnourished.” Neely remembered commenting at the time: “If these are the world’s most dangerous men, we don’t have very much to worry about.”
The detainees were wearing blacked out goggles, leg shackles, three-piece suits and ear muffs. Some had gloves on, Neely said.

There was an incident on the first day that he was involved in. He said after the detainees were processed, their pictures and fingerprints were taken and they were given a quick check over. Then they were to be escorted to their cells.

Neely said he and his escorting partner were taking one detainee assigned to Alpha Block. They started to walk but the detainee was shaking and would not walk. “So we started yelling and screaming at him to walk faster … We were actually walking so fast and he wouldn’t walk so we had to pick him up off the ground and we were carrying him.”

The detainee was put in his cell with Neely taking control of his upper body. His leg shackles and right handcuff were taken off. Neely said when he went to take off the left handcuff the detainee jerked toward him.

“We started yelling at him and screaming at him not to move,” Neely said. Neely said the detainee continued to jerk when he and his partner tried again to remove the cuff.

“Next thing I know I slammed him on the ground and I was on top of him. He was trying to get up. I kept pushing his head down to the… concrete floor.” Neely said he could hear people on the radio calling “code red Alpha Block.” His escorting partner had backed out of the cell and closed the cell door.

“It was just me and the detainee in there.” The IRF team “opened the cell door, grabbed me by the back of my uniform and pulled me outside and they just went in there hogtied him and left him there for I don’t know how long.”

A few weeks later, Neely said he was told by one of the English-speaking detainees why the man kept moving. “The reason he had moved was not to fight… He still had the blacked out goggles on so he could not see. He thought he was going to be executed,” Neely said. “A lot of those guys thought they were going to be executed when we put them on their knees and started talking their cuffs off.”

Neely said he felt ashamed. He said he witnessed abuse by the guards and others during his six months at the camp.

In another incident, when the camp had been operational for about two months, a detainee allegedly made a comment about one of the female guards and the IRF team was called to Bravo Block.

“They went up to the cell door and they told [the detainee] to turn around and put his hands on his head. He didn’t listen,” Neely said. The IRF team unlocked the cell door, at which point the detainee turned around put his hands on his head and went on his knees.

The IRF team opened the cell door and the one team member carrying a riot shield threw it off to the side. “And whatever little speed he could gather from that short distance he jumped up in the air and came down with his knee right in the middle of the back of [the detainee] and landed right on top of him.”

The other four men started punching the detainee. “Then someone on the inside called the female MP… in there to hit him. And she did,” Neely said.
When it was all over the detainee was in a pool of blood unconscious, according to Neely.

The detainee was taken by ambulance to the main hospital in Guantanamo. The detainee was later released from Guantanamo Bay without charge, Neely said.

Ex-Guantanamo guard tells of violence against detainees

The former chief prosecutor for the US government at Guantánamo Bay has accused the administration he served of operating a “law-free zone” there, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the order to establish the detention camp on Cuba.

Retired air force colonel Morris Davis resigned in October 2007 in protest against interrogation methods at Guantánamo, and has made his remarks in the lead-up to 13 November, the anniversary of President George W Bush’s executive order setting up military commissions to try terrorist suspects.

Davis said that the methods of interrogation used on Guantánamo detainees – which he described as “torture” – were in breach of the US’s own statutes on torture, and added: “If torture is a crime, it should be prosecuted.”

The US military, he said, had been ordered to use unlawful methods of interrogation by “civilian politicians, and to do so against our will and judgment”.

“No court has jurisdiction over Guantánamo,” said Davis. “Some senior civilian Bush adminstration officials chose Guantánamo to interrogate detainees because they thought it’s a law-free zone where we can unlawfully… handle a very small number of cases. We have turned our backs on the law and created what we believed was a place outside the law’s reach.” He added that America was “great at preaching to others, but not so good at practising what we preach. There is a point when enough is enough, and you have to look at yourself in the mirror. Torture has no place in American courts.”

He admitted that “for a couple of years I was a leading advocate of military tribunals”, but at his first meeting as prosecutor “I told my prosecution team that I would not use any enhanced interrogation techniques – we didn’t need to”. However, he continued: “We had these political appointees telling us to get in there and use them.”

Speaking to the Observer, he said: “The uniformed services were in opposition to what was going on. But the military was cut out of the loop. Civilian politicians excluded the military in establishing the process and then handed it to me, saying: ‘Here, go make it work.’ Political appointees were making the decisions and, so far as I was concerned, the methods being used were unlawful. They said: ‘President Bush said we don’t use torture, so if the president said it’s not torture, who are you to say it is?’ ” At first, said Davis, “the Bush administration didn’t want civilian lawyers involved. They didn’t even want the Red Cross on the island.”

Former US chief prosecutor condemns ‘law-free zone’ of Guantánamo. Ten years on from its creation, calls are mounting from legal and human rights experts for closure of the ‘torture’ centre on Cuba


Author: Ron