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Death is Preferable to Life When Innocent at Obama’s Guantanamo

2013 May 11
by Citizen Journalist Exchange

url-1By Marjorie Cohn,globalresearch.ca – More than 100 of the 166 detainees at Guantanamo are starving themselves to death. Twenty-three of them are being force-fed. “They strap you to a chair, tie up your wrists, your legs, your forehead and tightly around the waist,” Fayiz Al-Kandari told his lawyer, Lt. Col. Barry Wingard. Al-Kandari, a Kuwaiti held at Guantanamo for 11 years, has never been charged with a crime. “The tube makes his eyes water excessively and blood begins to trickle from the nose. Once the tube passes his throat the gag reflex kicks in. Warm liquid is poured into the body for 45 minutes to two hours. He feels like his body is going to convulse and often vomits,” Wingard added.

The United Nations Human Rights Council concluded that force-feeding amounts to torture. The American Medical Association says that force-feeding violates medical ethics. “Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions,” AMA President Jeremy Lazarus wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Yet President Barack Obama continues the tortuous Bush policy of force-feeding hunger strikers.

Although a few days after his first inauguration, Obama promised to shutter Guantanamo, it remains open. “I continue to believe that we’ve got to close Guantanamo,” Obama declared in his April 30 press conference. But, he added, “Congress determined that they would not let us close it.” Obama signed a bill that Congress passed which erected barriers to closure. According to a Los Angeles Times editorial, “Obama has refused to expend political capital on closing Guantanamo. Rather than veto the defense authorization bills that have limited his ability to transfer inmates, he has signed them while raising questions about whether they intruded on his constitutional authority.”

“I don’t want these individuals to die,” Obama told reporters. In fact, Obama has the power to save the hunger strikers’ lives without torturing them. Eighty-six – more than half – of the detainees remaining at Guantanamo have been cleared for release for the past three years. Section 1028(d) of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act empowers the Secretary of Defense to approve transfers of detainees when it is in the national security interest of the United States. Fifty-six of the 86 cleared detainees are from Yemen. Yet Obama imposed a ban on releasing any of them following the foiled 2009 Christmas bomb plot by a Nigerian man who was recruited in Yemen. Obama must begin signing these certifications and waivers at once.

Indeed, Obama said in his press conference, “I think – well, you know, I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe . . . It hurts us in terms of our international standing . . . It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed.”

In addition, Obama’s March 7, 2011 Executive Order 13567 provides for additional administrative review of detainees’ cases. The Periodic Review Board (PRB) would provide an opportunity for a detainee to challenge his continued detention. Yet Obama has delayed by more than a year PRB hearings at which other detainees could be cleared for release. Despite a requirement that the PRB begin review within one year, no PRB has yet been created. Obama should appoint an official to oversee the closure of Guantanamo and commence periodic reviews immediately so that detainees can challenge their designations and additional detainees can be approved for transfer.

Moreover, as suggested by Lt. Col. David Frakt, who represented Guantanamo detainees before the military commissions and in federal habeas corpus proceedings, Obama should direct the attorney general to inform the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that the Department of Justice no longer considers the cleared detainees to be detainable. Obama has blocked the release of eight cleared detainees by opposing their habeas corpus petitions. “[W]hen the Obama administration really wants to transfer a detainee, they are quite capable of doing so,” Frakt wrote in JURIST.

Read more via Death is Preferable to Life at Obama’s Guantanamo | Global Research.

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  1. Bruce Jonathan Fick permalink
    May 12, 2013

    Joe invited me long ago to write for Citizen Journalist’s Exchange aka World
    Wide Hippies via Current.com who’s closing it’s doors this month. I’ve had to
    go back and scour 5 years of blogged news stories to save their original links
    so that my work as a citizen Journalist would not be rendered inaccessible. I
    was working nights throughout most of that time, and unable to actualy read
    all I blogged. But now that I’ve lived through all of Nobama’s treachery &
    duplicity since 2008…Now that I’ve seen him do a 180 degree about face on
    most of the positions he took as Senator, and during his campaign…I’ve since
    had a chance to delve deeper into this seeming contradicton to determine the
    cause. Before I proceed further I realy do reccommend you all subscribe to
    Real Econ TV, and BrassCheck TV.com websites. They will provide you with
    regular Emails every day giving you the inside track on hard core news you’ll
    never read in newspapers, listen to via radio, and never ever see via any TV.
    And even better. They have an entire library of links in their bibliography of
    categories on all topics involving Government corruption to open your eyes wide.

    Today, I read the synopsis in text of a Brass Check video & viewed it exposing
    Nobama as a Manchurian Candidate style infiltrater. At Columbia University,
    noone knew him except that Obama went by the name Barry Soetoro, and alius.
    All his educational records from Columbia University are sealed to protect this
    secret identity. The video started out with a question: Who is this guy called
    Barack Obama anyway ? Noone at Columbia came forward to say they knew him.
    His past is as shrouded in secrecy today as it was since 1983. Only the official
    cover story is the one foisted on us to conceal his true identity as a non American
    who had to conceal that to pass through the Senate on his way to the White House.
    Between the Brass Check video, and the U Tube video which our Current.com
    community member Rostradamus posted I was able to confirm a few things that
    would normaly alarm those who trust blindly. Point 1. The ” birthers ” are correct.
    A son named Barack Obama was born to the senior Obama, a black man, and his
    wife, a white woman in Kenya. Obama’s grandmother confirms this. The Hawaian
    birth certificate is a well contrived official forgery intended to cover up this fact.
    We have a poser occupying the oval office who Constitutionaly is ineligible to have
    been nominated & elected President, much less have briefly held the office as one
    of Illinois Senators. If you’d been following the scandalous former Illinois Governor
    who was charged with Bribe Receiving, Racketeering and selling public offices, then
    you know the Senate never seated the African American successor into Obama’s old
    seat as there was a mountain of evidence that the seat was obtained illegaly by official corruption. This leads one to surmise that what worked once was attempted yet again.

    When Kerry introduced this unknown Barack Obama to the Democratic National
    Party, noone knew he was as phony as a $3 bill. After nearly 2 terms of Hitler Bush
    Jr’s monstous aggressive foreign wars & terror campaign, we were all set up to long
    for change we could believe in to give us hope. What we got foisted on us instead was
    Nobama, whom I’m convinced was chosen by Bush Jr to be his proxy server. Nobama
    is a grifter whose scandles have been blacked out by the mass media to support him.
    No amount of slick talk can disguise his bad faith false moves since 2008 though. The
    USA’s problems have only been exacerbated with a monster like Nobama as the puppet
    of very sinister forces. Nobama is a shadow man chosen to front for a shadow Govern
    ment.

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