A Call for 90 Men to be Freed from Guantánamo on the 11th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks
Sept 11, 2012 | Andy Worthington
I wrote the following article for the "Close Guantánamo" website, which I established in January with US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us —
just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed
to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our
activities by email.
Eleven years after the terrible terrorist attacks on September 11,
2001, 167 men are still held in the "war on terror" prison at Guantánamo
Bay, Cuba, following the death of one prisoner on the eve of the
anniversary, the Yemeni Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif,
who had long-standing mental health issues. They include five men
allegedly responsible for the attacks, who still await justice, and the
story of these men — who include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the supposed
mastermind of 9/11 — is a reminder of why it is important to adhere to
existing laws and treaties.
Had they been arrested and put on trial in federal court, their
alleged victims would no longer be waiting for justice to be done, as
their trials would have concluded many long years ago. However, on
capture they were spirited away to secret prisons run by the CIA,
where they were subjected to torture, approved at the highest levels of
the Bush administration, and, since arriving at Guantánamo in September
2006, they have been allowed almost no opportunity
to speak publicly about their experiences — a situation driven solely
by the desire to suppress all mention of their torture by US forces.
Similarly disastrous policies were enacted at Guantánamo. Although
the majority of the 779 men held in total since the prison opened were
not held in "black sites" prior to their arrival at Guantánamo, all were
abused in Afghanistan, where they were processed after their capture —
mostly in Pakistan or Afghanistan — and many were then abused in
Guantánamo, where torture techniques including prolonged isolation and
sleep deprivation were introduced, and were approved by George W. Bush’s
first defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.