Agreed, not the best way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but I've been thinking about the Guantánamo Bay detainees a lot lately so I decided to read up and see if any of them have been charged with a crime since the last time I looked into it.
Just two men have been charged and convicted of "providing material support to terrorism." An estimated 270 men, some of them children at the time of their arrest in 2001, are still falsely imprisoned by our government and forced to live in horribly distressing conditions:
"Mohammad El Gharani,
a young Chadian who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, was reportedly
arrested at a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, when he was only 15 years
old and brought to Guantánamo in early 2002. He was wrongly classified
as 25 and held as an adult. (He is now 21.) For the past two years, he
has been held in two of Guantánamo's most restrictive high-security
Gharani's lawyers say he has tried to commit suicide at least seven times. He has slit his wrist, run repeatedly headfirst into the sides of his cell, and tried to hang himself. On several occasions, he has been put on suicide watch in the mental health unit, given the green suicide smock, and placed in a single cell with no other items other than toilet paper. Each time, he has been moved out of the suicide unit and back into high-security detention.
Often subject to punishment for reported disciplinary problems, El Gharani says he is often left with nothing in his cell other than a mat for sleeping, a Koran and toilet paper. He says that at times even some of the basic items that all detainees are reportedly allowed at all times – including a finger toothbrush and small bar of soap – have been taken away.
He has never been provided any educational or additional recreation opportunities in accordance with his juvenile status at the time of capture. He has never been allowed to speak with – let alone see – any of his family members during his more than six years in U.S. custody. Like the majority of detainees at Guantánamo, he has not been charged with any crime."
The U.S. offered bounties to countries like Pakistan in exchange for individuals suspected to be terrorists. How stupid are we to just believe that these people weren't arbitrarily herded together and sold to the U.S. for a tidy sum? Some of the detainees have been "approved to leave" by the U.S., yet no means to actually leave the detention camp has been made available to them and they are not able to contact their families.
Where the hell are we living? What country is this?
I've never been in support of federally granted reparations for Native Americans or ancestors of slaves, but what the hell else are we going to do for these men when they are finally released back to their homelands and to their families? Let's say that the majority of these men held no ill will towards the United States at the time of their detention. Well what about now? Way to go, U.S.A.