The topic of torture by the U.S. government has been brought to the surface once again since The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York upheld the decision to withhold information concerning the treatment of detainee Abu Zubaydah, even though cables exist that describe waterboarding torture and a photo of the “high value” detaineee, Zubaydah. This came about as part of a long-running lawsuit brought by ACLU.
2nd Circuit: President Can Declare Proof that President Authorized Torture Secret at emptywheel.net May 21, 2012
A Court Covers Up New York Times May 24, 2012
“Operational flexibility: This is a highly classified area. All I want to say is that there was “before” 9/11 and “after” 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves come off.”
Abu Zubaydah begs Guantanamo prosecutors to charge him CBS May 16, 2012
The longest-held detainee, captured in 2002 after being shot, has yet to be charged with any crime, but falls into one of five of Obama-created categories, specifically a detainee “who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.” He has been linked to Al Qaeda as an important figure, but still he has no clear idea why he is being held and why he is considered so dangerous. The cbs article from May 16th linked above said:
Explaining his letter to the convening authority in an Op-Ed in today’s Los Angeles Times Margulies wrote: “Abu Zubaydah has been in custody for more than 10 years without being able to answer his accusers, or even know what he is accused of. We’ve come to the conclusion that a prosecution in a flawed system is better than nothing. At least in the commission system the government would have to put up or shut up. And it’s about time that happened.”
Torture Memos – 10 Years Later The Atlantic February 6, 2012
A Guide to The Torture Memos New York Times (includes links to memo in pdf format)
“On January 18, 2002 I advised you that the Department of Justice had issued a formal opinion concluding that the Geneva Convention III on the Treatment of Prisoners of War (GPW) does not apply with respect to the conflict with Al Qaeda. I also advised you that DOJ’s opinion concludes that there are reasonable grounds for you to conclude that GPW does not apply to with respect to the conflict with the Taliban.”
“… none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere through the world because, among other reasons, al Qaeda is not a High Contracting Party to Geneva.
“… I determine that the Taliban detainees are unlawful combatants and, therefore, do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of Geneva. I note that, because Geneva does not apply to our conflict with al Qaeda, al Qaeda detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war.”
“… I hereby reaffirm the order… requiring that the detainees be treated humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.”
“Of course, our values as a nation, values that we share with many nations in the world, call for us to treat detainees humanely, including those who are not legally entitled to such treatment. Our nation has been and will continue to be a strong supporter of Geneva and its principles. As a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva (my emphasis).”
After Guantánamo, Starting Anew, in Quiet Anger New York Times May 25, 2012
Lakhdar Boumediene , an Algerian who had once been an aid caring for Orphans in Sarajevo, arrived on January 20, 2002 to Guantánamo Bay, and spent seven years, three months, three weeks and four days at the prison camp undergoing interrogation. Although after two years he was told by an interrogator that it was clear he was not a terrorist, the questioning and torture continued. He was beaten and left in hand cuffs and leg shackles, from which he now bears scars on his wrists. To this day, the U.S. government has admitted no wrongdoing. Boumediene acknowledges that each time he moved locations to avoid a land plagued by fighting, the fighting seemed to follow him, but he does not know what he did specifically to deserve detention and torture. He tries to think back in life over everything he has done, and everyone he has met, but he still does not know why he was ever at Guantánamo. He was released in 2009 and transported to France.
I remember singing this song in Spanish class in 1999, and I found myself singing along this afternoon when I came upon this version. It makes me sad now.
Song starts at about 1:15. At about 4:00, in his signature style, Feliciano let’s loose. I have fond memories of my mother playing his albums when I was a young child.
GUANTANAMERA Original music by Jose Fernandez Diaz Music adaptation by Pete Seeger & Julian Orbon Lyric adaptation by Julian Orbon, based on a poem by Jose Marti Yo soy un hombre sincero De donde crecen las palmas Yo soy un hombre sincero De donde crecen las palmas Y antes de morirme quiero Echar mis versos del alma Chorus: Guantanamera Guajira Guantanamera Guantanamera Guajira Guantanamera Mi verso es de un verde claro Y de un carmin encendido Mi verso es de un verde claro Y de un carmin encendido Mi verso es un ciervo herido Que busca en el monte amparo Chorus I am a truthful man from this land of palm trees Before dying I want to share these poems of my soul My verses are green But they are also flaming red The next verse reads: I cultivate in June and in January For the sincere friend who gives me his hand And for the cruel one who would tear out this heart with which I live I do not cultivate thistles nor nettles I cultivate a white rose En junio como en enero Qultivo la rosa blanca En junio como en enero Para el amigo sincero Que me da su mano franca Chorus Y para el cruel que me arranca El corazon con que vivo Y para el cruel que me arranca El corazon con que vivo Cardo ni ortiga cultivo Cultivo la rosa blanca Chorus Con los pobres de la tierra Quiero yo mi suerte echar Con los pobres de la tierra Quiero yo mi suerte echar El arroyo de la sierra Me complace mas que el mar Chorus ©1963,1965 (Renewed) Fall River Music, Inc (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Edited 8:29 pm to add tags