Hey genoves - here's something honest for you to read. Take your time - you might learn something.
Testimony of Spc. Brandon Neely
Just because you
can't or won't admit the truth - don't patronise others who can and will.
Published on Monday, February 23, 2009
Worse Than My Darkest Nightmare
As I gain my freedom, I am determined that neither those who remain in detention, nor their abusers, are forgotten
by Binyam Mohamed
I hope you will understand that after everything I have been through, I am neither physically nor mentally capable of facing the media on the moment of my arrival back to Britain
. Please forgive me if I make a simple statement through my lawyer. I hope to be able to do better in days to come, when I am on the road to recovery.
I have been through an experience
that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares. Before this ordeal, "torture"
was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways - all orchestrated by the United States government.
While I want to recover, and put it all as far in my past as I can, I also know I have an obligation to the people who still remain in those torture chambers. My own despair was greatest when I thought that everyone had abandoned me. I have a duty to make sure that nobody else is forgotten.
I am grateful that, in the end, I was not simply left to my fate. I am grateful to my lawyers and other staff at Reprieve
, and to Lt Col Yvonne Bradley
, who fought for my freedom. I am grateful to the members of the British Foreign Office who worked for my release. And I want to thank people around Britain who wrote to me in Guantánamo Bay
to keep my spirits up, as well as to the members of the media who tried to make sure that the world knew what was going on. I know I would not be home in Britain today, if it were not for everyone's support. Indeed, I might not be alive at all.
I wish I could say that it is all over, but it is not. There are still 241 Muslim prisoners in Guantánamo. Many have long since been cleared even by the US military, yet cannot go anywhere as they face persecution. For example, Ahmed bel Bacha
lived here in Britain, and desperately needs a home. Then there are thousands of other prisoners held by the US elsewhere around the world, with no charges, and without access to their families.
And I have to say, more in sadness than in anger, that many have been complicit in my own horrors over the past seven years. For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence. I had met with British intelligence in Pakistan. I had been open with them. Yet the very people who I had hoped would come to my rescue, I later realised, had allied themselves
with my abusers.
I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known, so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured. Thank you.
This is the statement issued by Binyam Mohamed on his return to the UK
Although the above statement was initially printed in GuardianUK - i first saw it on an American site - Common Dreams.
The first comment on the page, caught my eye
Given all that Mr. Mohamed has gone through, this statement -- in both its truth and clarity -- is nothing less than an act of literature. For that, I gratefully thank Binyam Mohamed.
Though it seems so little in the face of the grave crimes that we as a nation have been perpetrating upon Mr. Mohamed and the people of the world (including our own citizens) I offer an apology for my complicity in all of this.
I humbly beg forgiveness.
Some people are too cowardly to face the truth and others are not.
February 24, 2009
The Long Road to Recovery
Who is Binyam Mohamed?
By ANDY WORTHINGTON
Published on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by The Guardian/UK
Guantánamo: We Need the Truth
Without transparency about Binyam Mohamed's torture, the damage done will linger for years after the camp's closure
by Sarah Teather
With a stoic grace, Binyam Mohamed has described his return to the UK today after seven long years of detention in Guantánamo Bay as "more in sadness than in anger".
I have met that sense of emptiness and loss before. I have worked with two constituents who returned to the UK after a long incarceration in Guantánamo. In both cases the men had been illegally taken, in the process known as extraordinary rendition, by the CIA from an African country; and in both cases there were allegations of torture and degrading treatment. The journey to rebuild a life and to reconnect with family has been long, slow and fraught with pain. How do you come to terms with the lost years, the shame of allegations you cannot refute, or to witnessing humanity at its very darkest? Binyam Mohamed will need his friends and family around him, and the time and space to move on. It will therefore fall to others to ask the vital questions he is too weary to ask for himself.
We must not be squeamish or turn a blind eye to what has happened to him. Over seven years he has been shackled and blindfolded, flown to dark prisons across the world and kept incommunicado. He has made allegations of systematic torture, and says he had up to 20 or 30 cuts made into his penis and genitalia, with chemicals poured on the wounds for extra pain. In Guantánamo, reports suggest he was routinely humiliated and abused, resulting in long periods on hunger strike in protest. In all this time, Mohamed was never charged with a crime.
We might have expected the government to protect a UK resident from such barbaric treatment. Instead, their fingerprints are all over his case file.
Torture is wrong, pure and simple. Civilised and democratic governments, including Britain, should have absolutely no role in a practice that is both ineffective and inhumane, and there is no excuse to put our so-called special relationship with the US before the rule of law. It is not enough to simply speak out against torture: the foreign secretary has a duty to help root out and end such practices.
We cannot stamp out torture unless we know why and how it was allowed to happen in the first place. Barack Obama's commitment to close Guantánamo is a huge leap forward, but we need a full investigation to make sure that such fundamental basic principles can never be flouted again. Without this openness and transparency, the damage done by Guantánamo will linger on long after the detention camp is closed.
The Labour government should be standing up to the United States, not colluding in a cover-up. If British residents have been subjected to torture, and if our own government have turned a blind eye, then we have a right to know. If the British government is sitting on vital evidence then it should immediately release it to the public.
Binyam Mohamed has said that, when he asked a camp guard why he was being tortured, the guard replied, "It's just to degrade you, so when you leave here, you'll have the scars and you'll never forget."
We should not forget either. The wounds and scars inflicted on Mohamed are not just a personal tragedy for him, they also represent a vicious assault on the values and humanity of our country. Labour's already bruised and battered human rights record lies in tatters. President Obama has promised a fresh start but, before the slate can be wiped clean, we have to be told the truth.
© 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited 2009
Sarah Teather is Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Guantánamo Bay