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America's Guantanamo Gulag

Short Version: mp3, 2.31 MBs, 2:53
Medium Version: mp3, 3.06 MBs, 3:49
Long Version: mp3, 3.83 MBs, 4:47

[Col. Recorded 10/7/04]

On the island of Cuba, stands an outpost of American imperial power — Guantanamo Naval Base.

There, hundreds of men, drawn from all over the world, are entombed in what one British court has called a "legal black hole."

Michael Ratner, an American lawyer who has argued in the U.S. Supreme Court for several people encaged there, has written that Guantanamo is an American
interrogation camp, similar to those erected by the Germans during World War II, and outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. In a recent book on the prison camp, Ratner wrote that Guantanamo is a place designed to be beyond the law:

We have gone back to a pre-Magna Carta medieval system, not a system of laws, but
of executive fiat, where the king — or in this case, the president — simply decides, on any particular day, I'm going to throw you into some prison. You are not going to have
access to a lawyer or anybody else, or even know if there are charges against you,
or if you will ever be released from this prison. Guantanamo has become our Devil's
Island, our Chateau d'If from The Count of Monte Cristo. [From Michael Ratner and
Ellen Ray, *Guantanamo: What the World Should Know* (White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publ., 2004), p. 6]

If people were shocked by the recent events at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, one need only look at Guantanamo for its inspiration. For, the leadership of Abu Ghraib was exported from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib with a specific, sinister
mission: to 'Gitmoize' Abu Ghraib; that is, to treat the people detained there as they had been treated at Guantanamo.

So, the torture of people; the nakedness of people; the brutal beatings of people; the humiliation of people — all of these things were done to Muslim and Arab nationals at Guantanamo.

But, according to Ratner, there was another, insidious method to their brutal madness. Those detained at Guantanamo; they were captured for the purpose of turning them, using state terror to transform these people into snitches to be seeded
back into Muslim communities and countries, for the U.S. intelligence agencies. Ratner writes:

This is exactly what the British did with IRA prisoners. Just as is being done in Guantanamo, they refused to give out the names of detainees for "security reasons" and kept them in detention for long periods of time. During that period, many of them were turned into undercover agents for British intelligence. What is going on in Guantanamo is not just about interrogation, not just about keeping allegedly dangerous people off the battlefield, but about recruiting Muslim informants to go around the Islamic world, to go back to their countries of origin and get information back to the United States, essentially to spy for the United States. [p. 48]

Americans are taking innocent men, putting them in cages, treating them like beasts, *for years*, knowingly, for the purpose of using them against their home communities and countries.

This is the face of American democracy that will be reflected in the eyes of hundreds, and then thousands, and perhaps millions of Muslims. This is the reason that the so-called 'War on Terror' is a fraud; it is a war, but a war against reason. It is a mad war, designed by madmen, based on false evidence, and one which threatens to, once again, splash back against the nation that spawned it in global blowback.

We have seen blowback before. It is the grim and bitter lesson that should have prevailed in the gritty smoke of Sept. 11th. Young men, many of them trained by the CIA, and paid by the Saudis, to vanquish the then-'evil empire' of the Soviets in Afghanistan, succeeded in driving Russians from their lands, and flush with victory, turned their sights to those that trained them. They had driven one superpower to its knees; why not another?

Guantanamo, to quote British judges in the *Abassi* case, has become, despite a recent US Supreme Court decision, a "legal black hole." ... And like black holes, it threatens to swallow everything around it.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.