The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

From Bush to Obama, State Barbarism Continues

May 2, 2011

WikiLeaks just released new files to several U.S. and foreign papers. These latest ones came from the Guantanamo detention center, the U.S. army base located in Cuba.

The files cover from 2002 when the center opened, up to 2009, and concern 750 of the 779 people detained there, accused of links with al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.

In the final reckoning, the detention center classed 220 of these detainees in the category of dangerous terrorists, 380 were considered simply to be generally affiliated with the Taliban and 150 were classified as either victims of the settling of scores, arrested on the basis of false information obtained under torture, or simply present at the wrong time in the wrong place ... whom their jailers finally recognized as innocent.

For example, the press cites the case of a poor Afghan farmer who spent two years in Guantanamo because he had the same name as a Taliban warlord. A Sudanese cameraman for al Jazeera was detained for six years for interrogation ... about his training by the TV station and its supposed links with terrorist organizations. An Afghan shepherd, captured near a terrorist act, was recognized as innocent after three years. Missing travel documents, having a calculator, even wearing a certain brand watch, which supposedly was used by al-Qaeda for its attacks–these were all justifications for imprisonment. Only after years of detention and inhuman treatment were some of these detainees freed.

During Obama’s election campaign in 2008 and when taking office in January 2009, he pledged to shut the detention center within a year. At the beginning he even suspended exceptional military tribunals. These promises have been forgotten.

The detention center, which hasn’t received new prisoners since 2007, still functions. 172 people are still detained there, the majority since it opened. The exceptional military tribunals have resumed. Of the 172 detained who remain, 33 are going to be judged for war crimes, a hundred sent back to their country or sent to a third country for detention, and the others will be imprisoned indefinitely without a trial. From Bush to Obama, state barbarism continues.