April 10, 2010

Obama’s Guantanamo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 8:17 am


Over a year ago the Obama administration made headlines by announcing that the prison for detainees in Guantanamo Bay would be closed. Many organizations thought that signaled a reversal of the human rights and legal policies of the Bush administration.

In Sept., 2009, a NYC human rights attorney, Tina Foster, warned “the Obama administration has completely failed in delivering the change that was promised.”

Today, Guantanamo remains open and there is a new and improved version of a world where legal and human rights do not exist. It is known as Bagram air base in Afghanistan and President Obama received a warm welcome when he “rallied the troops” there last month.

With the recent expansion of the war in Afghanistan, Bagram will get busier, but not all will receive as warm of a welcome as the President did.

One of the detainees that died at Bagram after being tortured by U.S. interrogators was strung up by his wrists, and then beaten until his legs were “pulpified,” according to the military’s own autopsy reports obtained by the ACLU.

Opinion polls show support for Obama in waning, even in the wake of the passage of a compromised health care reform bill. The corporate media spins those poll results as a reaction from the right to Obama’s “far left” agenda. The truth is that most conservatives or Republicans never have, and never will, support anything that Obama does or does not do.

Obama’s dip in support more likely comes from the Democrats and progressives that voted for him, but are now disillusioned with the reality that the “change we can believe in” is really more of the same Washington politics. People like Tina Foster, who said last fall:

I voted and campaigned for Obama, like all the other folks here in the US who wanted to see this country recover from the illegal and unjust policies of the Bush administration. When I heard Obama’s announcement to close Guantanamo, I breathed a sigh of relief that perhaps this extremely ugly chapter of American history was finally being put to an end. Unfortunately, since then, the Obama administration has completely failed in delivering the change that was promised. For a time, we believed that perhaps it would just take the new administration time to shift its policies. The reality is that the Bush and the Obama administrations have the same position on the rights of detainees in Bagram.

The detention facility at Bagram is a clear example that little has changed in terms of human and legal rights since the Obama administration was elected. “The American way” once was that the guilt or innocence of any detainee can only be determined with a fair trial. It seems that no longer is and may never be the case again…with either political party in power.

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