GITMO: Obama’s Broken Promise Protested
On the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the first illegal detainees at Guantanamo Bay, hundreds of protesters tolerated DC’s winter rain to express their disappointment, and anger, at President Obama and the most despised and ineffective congress that Americans have ever had to tolerate.
A ninety minute rally that educated the large crowd that gathered on the subject of America’s human rights and international law violations was followed by a march past the White House to the Capitol building. Protesters dressed as detainees, complete with the all too familiar black hood, were paraded past in a line that continued for almost a quarter mile.
While some ‘detainees’ showed markings that emulated the documented abuses carried out by American military service personnel stationed at GITMO, such as cigarette burns and human feces, others were locked in cages, like animals.
Hundreds of detainees have been the victims of the human rights violations perpetrated by the American military at Guantanamo Bay prison. The United Nations, Amnesty International, and a growing number of Americans, have all condemned this illegal and immoral practice.
The illegal invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, combined with the illegal detention of those country’s citizens, should result in the prosecution of, at least, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. Additional charges should be pursued against anyone on their staff, or in their cabinet, that participated in, or facilitated, the execution of these illegal acts of international belligerence, the war crimes that ensued – including illegal imprisonment, torture, and murder – as well as the personal profiteering from these crimes for which they are all guilty.
President Obama, the 111th congress, and the current 112th, now have the onerous distinction of joining the Bush gang as conspirators after the fact. And, the American people are not innocent in these charges. Too much time has passed without taking responsibility for the actions of their representatives. This government is designed to be of, by, and for the people. With that great honor comes great responsibility.
America is already gearing up for yet another war, this one against Iran. Will the cells at Guantanamo once again fill up? Will more people be caged like animals, without due process? Will more people be mistreated, abused, tortured, and murdered? Will America’s elected leaders once again tempt reprisals from those who would visit on America’s citizens the terror that the American government visits on them?
It’s time to end the madness. The 10th anniversary of GITMO is no less disgusting than the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Unless we wish to add to these sad memorials, and testaments to our brutality, we need to take responsibility for our actions, and our reactions.
Editor’s Note: All photographs by Liam Fox