New secret documents expose the bitter fruits of US military intervention
Press reports that WikiLeaks is about to disclose US files on Guantanamo detainees exposing abductions, false imprisonment, abuse and torture signify the extent of the ‘collateral damage’ in the West’s war to spread freedom and democracy to the Muslim world. Nearly 800 detainees have passed through Guantanamo, the overwhelming majority of whom were falsely imprisoned according to the US’s own records. As Obama opens a third theatre of war in Libya after Afghanistan (and Iraq) from where many of the present and past Guantanamo detainees were extracted America’s continued belligerence will result in the wanton destruction of more innocent lives.
Leaked documents reveal less than 3 in10 of the Guantanamo detainees are assessed as dangerous according to the US’s own rather questionable interrogations, which though not detailed are known to have included techniques such as water-boarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation – effectively torture.
More than 150 are just innocent farmers, chefs and drivers who were sold to US forces because of the bounty offered by the Americans or were rounded up in ‘fishing expeditions’, abducted and transported, bound and gagged to Guantanamo. In the top-secret files, senior US commanders conclude that in dozens of cases there is “no reason recorded for transfer”. A further 380 are people whose presence at the military facility is regarded as questionable.
Other accounts about Guantanamo detainees include:
* Reports of about 20 juveniles, including a 14-year old boy
* An 89 year old with serious health problems
* Several other imprisoned pensioners
* Reports of people picked up and transported to Guantanamo merely for wearing a certain model of Casio watch, because the watches were used as timers by Al-Qaeda.
The files also disclose and further confirm that British intelligence services co-operated with Guantanamo interrogators as has been alleged by former Guantanamo detainees.
These new WikiLeaks Guantanamo files are another indictment on the West’s supposed just and honourable cause to export democracy and freedom. The capture, abduction, false imprisonment of children, the old, the infirm and innocent civilians like farmers, chefs and drivers exposes the reality of the West’s disastrous military foreign interventions.
As Muslims in the Muslim world move to remove the shackles of dictatorship and tyranny – a change that is supported in common solidarity by Muslims across the world – the West has embarked on another military foreign intervention not having learnt the lessons from Afghanistan, which created the likes of Guantanamo and its catalogue of human disasters.