I do not want to die here, but until President Obama and Yemen’s president do something, that is what I risk every day. [New York Times]


THE STORY of his treatment at Gitmo starts with the Yemeni detainee saying he’s been on a hunger strike since February and has lost 30 pounds. He then states he will eat until “they have restored my dignity.” It’s not waterboarding he describes. The treatment in the Obama era at Gitmo is another kind of torture, all because Congress won’t act.

This year Obama’s envoy for closing Gitmo was “reassigned” and he wasn’t replaced. From Huffington Post in January:

But Republican-led bills have since cut off funding to move detainees to foreign countries, and bringing them to the United States has been impossible since Congress blocked Obama’s attempt in 2009 to try Mohammed and others accused of war crimes in a civilian court.

The Obama administration still hopes to close Guantanamo and send its remaining 166 inmates elsewhere, but officials say congressional restrictions have left diplomatic efforts severely hampered.

The New York Times article should be the first thing every American reads today. A snippet:

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

[…] Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.

I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.

President Obama wants to close Gitmo, but Congress refuses to act. They’re afraid of what might happen to Americans, even if there has never been any proof that the detainees can’t be safely incarcerated in super-max prisons in the U.S.

Americans don’t seem to be bothered at all by the human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay. It says a lot about the country we have become.