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JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES
“First of all, we need to know a lot more about each individual still being held in Guantanamo…”

That’s rather cowardly, to say the least.

We know more than enough.

These men were arrested and sent to Guantanamo against all international law.

They have been abused and tortured for years, again against all international law.

For years, they were allowed no lawyers, no visitors, and even the Red Cross was not allowed to visit.

The US has not only ignored international law and obligations, it ignores its own principles.

You cannot have a Bill of Rights worth spit if its provisions are completely ignored as soon as you put a toe over the border.

The very existence of this concentration camp – for that is precisely what it is – is an affront to people who love freedom and decency.

It is also the final proof of George Bush’s complete incompetence: he foresaw none of the consequences of creating this horror.

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The case of Omar Khadr is the one I am thoroughly familiar with.

He has suffered, at the hands of American soldiers, beyond the understanding of most.

He was a mere boy, pushed by ideological parents, when he went to Afghanistan.

At the age of 15, he was shot twice, in the back, by cowardly American soldiers.

Then he was arrested and imprisoned in violation of all international conventions about child soldiers.

He was charged with a crime over something that is not even a crime in war, that is shooting one of your opponents.

But as we know now, he didn’t even do that. It has all been trumped up.

Khadr was tortured for years, again against international conventions. This included a particularly vicious American interrogator, well known for his brutality, having the boy with two horrible wounds trying to heal sit up regularly in uncomfortable positions, pulling at his wounds.

Khadr was held with no access or help for years.

I recall in many, many wars abroad having nothing to do with the US – civil wars and revolutions and colonial wars from Spain to the Congo – American soldiers of fortune and motivated idealists going off by the thousands to fight for one side or the other.

They weren’t subjected to this Nazi-like treatment afterward. This is a total disgrace on the part of the United States.

And our Prime Minister’s cowardly refusal to stand up for a citizen and an abused boy is also disgraceful, but he unfortunately reflects American sensibilities. To have asked for this boy, in view of a family history which includes a dead father who knew Osama bin Laden, would have been viewed as an unfriendly act by an insanely mad American government.

And we have the horrible irony that some of the images from that other ghastly place, Abu Ghraib, now being held back include images of American guards Sodomizing young prisoner boys. Our great investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, has told us this over and over, but America pays little attention.

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