Will Bush Administration Close Gitmo?
Developments over the past few days indicate that the Bush administration may be on the verge of announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. If this happens it will be a token political gesture and the worldwide torture and rendition program will not cease.
Two top British Labour party ministers and the United Nations have both publicly called for the facility to be shut down.
On Friday, the Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain told BBC One's Question Time: "I would prefer that it wasn't there and I would prefer it was closed."
The London Mirror is today reporting that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's comments, in which he stated, "I am absolutely clear the US has no intention of maintaining a gulag in Guantanamo Bay," are a precursor to an announcement from the Bush administration.
"Mr Straw - close to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - is unlikely to have made his claim unless he knows the US administration plans an announcement on Guantanamo," wrote the Mirror.
The UN released a report last week documenting torture practices at the camp and demanded its closure.
The fact is that the closure of Guantanamo Bay will be a token political points scoring gesture. The Bush administration is again on the ropes over new Abu Ghraib photos, the UAE port deal, NSA spying on Americans and Dick Cheney's wayward shooting.
Despite the illusory desperation of the Neo-Cons and their unwillingness to ever admit mistakes, closing Gitmo would give Lord Bush some breathing space and head off talk of impeachment at least for a while.
But it will not do anything to improve the situation of hundreds of thousands of innocent prisoners in torture gulags dotted all over Afghanistan and Iraq.
On Monday the outgoing UN human rights chief Dr. John Pace dropped a bombshell when he told an obscure Maltese newspaper that as many as a thousand detainees a month are being tortured to death in Iraq.
"The Baghdad morgue received 1,100 bodies in July alone, about 900 of whom bore evidence of torture or summary execution. That continued throughout the year and last December there were 780 bodies, including 400 having gunshot wounds or wounds as those caused by electric drills," said Pace.
This makes today's claim that only 100 prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2002 pale into insignificance. True, the majority of the 1000 a month figure are being tortured to death by corrupt Iraqi police, but those police and former Saddam loyalists were trained and put into positions of power by the US government, who enacted the worldwide Copper Green torture and rendition policy immediately following the war on Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is now a drug colony and a narco-state. Child malnutrition levels are higher than they were before the war, unemployment is higher and the country is run by warlords and a resurgent Taliban. US puppet Hamid Karzai has no power outside of Kabul and has to be surrounded by 40 bodyguards everywhere he travels (pictured above).
The Neo-Cons have re-seized the prize of the opium trade and the rest of the country has gone to hell, with regional dictators free to torture whomever they like en masse. International aid agencies dare not travel outside of Kabul for fear of being kidnapped and murdered.
A 2005 London Guardian investigation concluded that Afghanistan was now "one huge US jail," and "the hub of a global network of detention centres, the frontline in America's 'war on terror', where arrest can be random and allegations of torture commonplace."
How can the closure of one detention facility change the fact that two entire countries have been turned into brutal police state prison camps?
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