January 11th marks five years of detainment for the more than 400 people at Guantanamo. For the full hour, Law and Disorder co-host and President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner takes listeners through the history and chronology of the US involvement at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. Michael Ratner begins with the US acquiring the 4500 square mile base near a harbor at the southeastern end of Cuba.
Guantanamo – A Law Free Zone – Haitian Camps – Read more
In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was used to house Cuban and Haitian refugees. In the early 1990s, it held refugees who fled Haiti after military forces overthrew democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. These refugees were held in a detainment area called Camp Bulkeley until United States District Court
Storming The Court – We hear a clip from an interview with attorney and author Brandt Goldstein. Before Guantanamo Bay, Cuba became notorious for its human rights violations against Muslims, it was the holding center for thousands of HIV-positive Haitian refugees. More than ten years ago a team of Yale law students and activists took up this cause. They worked victoriously to stop the US government from detaining these refugees indefinitely at Guant?namo, without charges or access to counsel.
David Hicks – Australian prisoner held at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba. He’s been detained for more than five years as an “unlawful combatant” and thus, it was claimed, outside the normal protections of U.S. law and those provisions of the Geneva Conventions which are specific to soldiers of an official military organization. His trial before a U.S. military commission was due to begin in November 2005. However, proceedings were cancelled following the Supreme Court Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ruling invalidating the constitutionality of the commission process.
Bounty Hunter – U.S. PSYOPS distributed flyers and leaflets
How did prisoners get to Guantanamo?
Many Guantanamo prisoners were rounded up by bounty hunters and sold to the U.S. It’s unknown how many were victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the days during and following the Afghan invasion, the U.S. military blanketed parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan with flyers encouraging people to turn in suspects, in return for large sums of money. “Get wealth and power beyond your dreams,” read one flyer. “You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaeda and Taliban murderers.”
How other prisoners arrived at GTMO
Uiger Muslims Transferred From Guantanamo To Albania – Recently, the Uiger Muslims were quietly sent to Albania to a larger compound. It was explained to Law and Disorder that in Albania, the Uigers can move about freely within the compound and cannot leave. We play a clip from the January 2006 interview with attorney Sabin Willet.
We play a clip from a Law and Disorder interview with Tausif Paracha. His Uncle, Saifullah Paracha, 58 was “kidnapped” and is detained in Guantanamo and Tausif’s cousin Uzair Paracha, 24 is detained in one of New York’s worst prisons. You can read more about this case at www.freeparachas.org
Mark P. Denbeaux – Seton Hall Report – One of most comprehensive reports of who is at Guantanamo.
Describe Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Gita Guitierezz – attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights defending Guantanamo Bay detainees gives listeners a first hand description of the camp.
Co-host Michael Ratner describes his experience of first learning that the US military was involved with torturing detainees. Torture, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation.
Evidence of Torture – Gita Guitierezz – in an interview last November we listen to a clip where Gita describes how her client Mohamed Mani Ahmad al-Kahtani. was sleep deprived and tortured.
Torture and Waterboarding; ancient practice – Henri Alleg, Author of The Question – We listen to a clip of Henri Alleg describing waterboarding. He was revived then brought to the brink of death, then revived again. An similar brutality and sadism often described by prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith interview Henri Alleg a French journalist living in Paris. He supported Algerian independence during the French Algerian War (1954-1962). He was arrested by French paratroppers during the Battle of Algiers in June 1957 and interrogated.
Fighting back in the Courts, Congress and in the Streets
The effort to get Guantanamo closed down and to get prisoners the rights they’re entitled under International Law and the Constitution. It’s a difficult fight explains co-host Michael Ratner but the opposition is growing.
We hear clips from a demonstration against the Guantanamo Prison Camp in Herald Square and also from Amnesty International’s anti-torture rally in Portland, Oregon, recorded from interviews by co-host Dalia Hashad. Amnesty International staff members and activists who gathered to speak out, listen and share their stories.
Witness Against Torture – Fight Back – January 11, 2007 Thursday: The 5 year anniversary of the first prisoners being brought to Guant?namo. March, Press Conference and Nonviolent Direct Action in Washington, DC. Endorsed by Center for Constitutional Rights, CodePink, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Pax Christi USA, School of Americas Watch, United for Peace and Justice and other groups such as FIDH and Reprieve.