Jun 20, 2005
On June 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss the issue of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay. A few senators, both Republican and Democrat, called for the closure of the prison, on the grounds that it has become an embarrassment for the U.S.
Far from being embarrassed, however, the Bush Administration showed its true intentions concerning Guantanamo by awarding Vice President Cheney's old company, Halliburton, a 30-million-dollar contract to extend the facility.
Currently, there are more than 550 prisoners at Guantanamo. Most of them have been held there for more than three years, without being formally charged with any crime. The Bush Administration says that international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war don't apply to Guantanamo – admitting in effect that prisoners there are subject to torture.
Guantanamo is not the only facility where the Bush Administration holds, and tortures, what it calls "terrorists." It is part of an extensive network of prisons around the globe, most of them in secret locations. The U.S. government arrests people all over the world, including in the U.S., and takes them to these prisons. Sometimes the U.S. hands these prisoners over to other governments, in effect "contracting out" the torture job. Some of these incidents have been publicized and documented in detail in the press.
The Bush Administration does not use these prisons to get information. Everyone knows that information gained through torture is completely unreliable.
No, the U.S. uses torture – and then brags about it – to send a message to people around the world that this is what people have to expect if they dare to stand up against the U.S.
At Guantanamo or elsewhere, these prisons are manifestations of the naked terror carried out by the U.S. government against people all over the world. The rest of the "debate" over the issue, just like the whole rhetoric about the "threat of terrorism" and the "war on terror," is nothing but a PR ploy intended for manipulating public opinion in the U.S.