Gulag Friday! Six Years Of Gitmo & Binyam Mohamed Update

The American Civil Liberties Union are marking this with a renewed campaign to close down the gulag on rented Cuban land-

I pledge to join with over 550,000 ACLU members and supporters to declare that the unlawful and un-American prison at Guantánamo Bay must be closed.

I affirm my commitment to the American values of justice and liberty for all. I believe in the core values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution – that no person should be subjected to the use of torture, or cruel treatment, or indefinite and arbitrary detention. I call for the U.S. government to CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO.

Meanwhile I have had response from the UK government regarding Binyam Mohamed‘s illegal incarceration there. I wrote to David Miliband but it appears the replying duties have been passed to the Counter Terrorism Department (which sort of assumes his guilt as a terrorists does it not? Hmmm) although I prefer to think about it as the terrorism counter-

Have you got a six pack of Bin Ladens? In chrome with the rubber handles?

-You’ll have to ask at the terrorism counter, we only do insurgents and garden furniture in this department.

Do you know if they’ve got any ‘lyrical terrorists’ in?

-Do you know the product code?

Yeah, 1 9 8 4 I think.

-Tracy, do you know if they’ve got any LT84’s in? What? Oh no, they had a delivery yesterday but it was all Hizbullah & Hamas bath towels if you ask they should be able to order some.

Thank -you.

Anyway the reply went as follows-

Thank you for your email of 18 December to the Foreign Secretary about Mr Binyam Mohammed.  I have been asked to reply.

Due to significant security concerns, the US Government is not presently inclined to agree to his release and return to the UK.  We continue to discuss Mr Mohammed’s case with the US and will continue to keep your family and legal representatives appraised of any developments.

Best regards 

And it was from a Mr. Nicolas Jankowski who with a bit of googling I found is the minion who gets to answer lots of these letters and in the past has been a bit more forthright (-ish):

Nicolas Jankowski wasn’t so shy.

He wouldn’t comment on Hicks’s case because, as he reminded me, there was an appeal before the courts on the lad’s citizenship application. He then proceeded to drop a huge bucket on the entire Guantanamo Bay process, describing it as unacceptable and reminding me that Tony Blair had already said it should be closed.

He said the British Government continued to raise humanitarian concerns about detentions at Guantanamo Bay with the US authorities and would continue raising the concerns and work with the US to resolve the issues.

Jankowski further pointed to the necessity of continued engagement by the US with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations and others on the issue of Guantanamo Bay. He said the British Government “noted” the assurances given by the US Government on the issue of detainee treatment more widely and quoted the confirmation of the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, that the US respected the rules of international law, including the UN’s Convention on Torture.

Although still very diplomatic and erm taking Rice’s word the Bush administration respects international law? A bit like taking Peter Sutcliffe’s word he respects women. Anyways, “Due to significant security concerns, the US Government is not presently inclined to agree to his release and return to the UK.” He is so FCO, so British. But here’s the point, this ‘security’ excuse has become the cover-all brand over any and all government wrongdoing and in a democratic state it simply is not acceptable, it is a meaningless use of words to not actually give a reason while appearing to do so. It is not a justification for kidnap, torture and endless imprisonment outside of any recognised legal system. That’s pretty well much what I will write back to Nic with and he can diplomatically and wearily reply.

One thought emerges though, if a Democratic President does not end Gitmo and the other gulag/ ghost sites what do we do? I mean I know a lot of good hearted Americans are getting very caught up in the pomp and ceremony of the process to choose which millionaire pre-approved by the establishment gets to be King or Queen, and domestically a Democrat would be a nice change (less creationism in schools maybe) but in foreign -war on terror- policy I’m having a lot of trouble seeing much of a difference. What do you do when the President turns out to be the same betrayal the Democratic Congress & Senate have proved? Is it getting close to idiot cliché time -Someone who keeps doing the same thing in the same way, but expects different results? Or should that be saved for 2015 when the force in Iraq is drawn down to just 60,000 or so?

Ps. This is the address to write to Binyam Mohamed who is mentally disintegrating, the letters are delayed and even destroyed by the authorities but maybe a letter to him is more useful in some karmic sense than bothering weary civil servants who give out the same excuses for years, I don’t know-

Binyam Mohamed
ISN 1458
Camp Delta
US Naval Base Guantánamo Bay
Washington, DC 20355

3 Responses to “Gulag Friday! Six Years Of Gitmo & Binyam Mohamed Update”

  1. anna Says:

    Thanks for all that you are doing we need your support (family)

  2. RickB Says:

    Hey Anna, thanks for dropping by and I hope outside pressure is of some help, if you’d like to send any more info I’d be glad to post it up.

  3. Cat Exits Bag « Ten Percent Says:

    […] dragged it’s heels, denied and again has been ordered to ‘fess up, what will they do? Binyam Mohamed has been an ‘unperson’ for six years, his health both mental and physical are […]

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