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The BushCheney Regime asserts that the hundreds of captives it has stashed in the military prisons of Guantanamo Bay have no legal rights, because “these people are terrorists.” Donnie Rumsfeld proclaimed the Gitmo prisoners to be “the worst of the worst.”
So, nearly 500 of them are still there, not by the authority of law, but by the autocratic dictate of Bush’s imperial presidency. Swept up four years ago, the prisoners are being held indefinitely, with practically no access to lawyers and with no right to appeal their incarceration. It violates the U.S. Constitution and international law – but, what the hell, they’re terrorists, right?
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Well, some are, but it’s now been revealed that a shameful number of these disappeared ones have no connection whatsoever to terrorism. The Bushites know this, but still hold them.
Take Abdur Sayed Rahman, a Pakistani villager who was taken from his small farm in 2002 and dumped into Guantanamo, accused of having been the deputy foreign minister of the deposed Taliban government. That Taliban official, however, is named Abdur Zahid Rahman. This poor captive, who’s been kept locked up for four years says, “I am only a chicken farmer in Pakistan.”
Then there’s an Afghan who denies being the former Taliban governor of a province there. He asked military officials at Guantanamo to contact the current governor of that province to verify his innocence. In a grotesque example of Catch 22, however, the military said it’s up to the prisoner to produce such evidence. Excuse me, said the Afghan, but I’m held incommunicado in a U.S. cell in Cuba and not allowed to make calls. To which our military official said, “Write to them.” He then ruled that the Afghan could not have his case reviewed for another year.
This is Jim Hightower saying… By suspending the rule of law, the Bushites have become a regime of injustice. Remember, this is being done in our name – in the name of America.
“They Came for the Chicken Farmer,” The New York Times, March 8, 2006.
“Voices Baffled, Brash and Irate in Guantanamo,” The New York Times, March 6, 2005.