In the history of the United States there have been few episodes which have matched in disregard for human rights as the story of what has transpired in Guantanamo during the interrogation of prisoners. Aside from flippant remarks from Don Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney about what is the big deal in listening to loud music or standing, no Republican leader who served under George Bush has indicated the slightest understanding of what was done to those imprisoned. And, we cannot forget that few of these men were ever convicted of anything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, some were part of the Taliban or served with al-Qaeda, but in America we believe people are entitled to a fair trial.
Mark Danner, a journalism professor has released on the web site of the New York Review of Books, the story of interrogation. It doesn’t take much more than reading the Table of Contents to make an American sick to his stomach. Among the headings are; “Suffocation by water, prolonged stress standing, beating by use of a collar, beating and kicking; confinement in a box; prolonged nudity; sleep deprivation; use of loud music; exposure to cold temperatures/cold water; prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles; threats; forced shaving; deprivation/restricted provision of food.”
This is the story of the Bush administration, not the story of America. This nation must place on trial every member of the Bush administration–including the president– who allowed such behavior on the part of Americans. We strongly suggest formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the model used in South Africa.