Nine years ago today, a Department of Defense C-141 transport plane carrying 20 prisoners arrived in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. On that day, January 11, 2002, the naval base began operating as a detention center for men captured in President Bush's so-called "war on terror." Today, the detention center at Guantánamo Bay enters its 10th year of operation. More than 170 prisoners continue to be detained indefinitely there.
Although President Obama signed an executive order on his first full day in office to close the prison camp, Guantánamo remains open, and its very existence continues to be a stain on America's reputation at home and abroad.
That's from Suzanne Ito's "Nine Years of Guantánamo" (ACLU's Blog of Rights). And when Bush was in charge of Guantanamo, we called for it to be closed. We noted how unfair it was, how hostile the prisoners were treated (force-feeding being only one well known example), how they were kept in a hellhole with no hope of release and how they'd never faced a real jury to begin with before Bush disappeared them.
In his campaign, Barack gave one sermonette after another agreeing with that sentiment. Then he came into office and continued it.
This is from Andy Worthington's "Guantánamo Forever?" (World Can't Wait):
And Guantanamo remains open. As does Bagram Prison. The White House flipped parties, from Republican to Democrat. Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress from the start of 2009 through the end of 2010. And yet nothing changed. Guantanamo remains open today.
It's a shame on this country, it's a shame on democracy, it's a shame on justice. For nine years, people have been locked in a hellhole with no escape. We don't do that, we kid ourselves. But we did and do and have for 9 years.
How to deal with it? You could be like The Nation which has a ton of stories at their front page but not one on Guantanamo. You could ignore it, just like The Nation. (And on The Nation, I wasn't aware that every Black writer in the country had weighed in on race at The Nation. Apparently they have because the "Colorlines" post is by Eric Foner -- Betty Friedan's buddy. And, yes, he's White.)
Or you could be like The Progressive and . . . also just ignore it.
Not a big Amy Goodman fan these days but I will give her credit for noting it in the headlines today. It's a shame she couldn't devote the program to it because that's what the issue demanded. But, hey, she did more than The Nation or The Progressive so I'll give her credit for that.Here's C.I."Iraq snapshot:"