There has been plenty of justified praise for President Obama as he slowly but surely closes the Gitmo Gulag. It is by well known that the Bush Regime used this prison, as well as others, to torture men who committed the “crimes” of resisting the American desert-killing fields in Mesopotamia and having Arab names. We later learned out from Blitzkrieg Rumsfeld that these “terrorists” were actually beaten, starved, deprived of sleep, and tortured with insects in an attempt to produce a false 9/11-Iraqi link.
But what about the lesser known, and even crueler, military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan? What goes on at Bagram makes Gitmo look like a day-care camp. According to a 2,000 page U.S. Army report, two prisoners were chained to the ceiling and then beaten to death. Autopsies later revealed extreme trauma to both of their legs, describing it as similar to being run over by a bus. The International Red Cross Report reported massive overcrowding, harsh conditions, threats of HIV-infection and sodomy, weeks of complete isolation, routine beatings, and stress positions (a favorite at Abu Ghraib).
It went nearly unnoticed, but Obama’s “Justice” Department stated that it agreed with the previous Administration that the over 600 detainees at Bagram Airfield cannot use U.S. Courts to challenge their detention, and it only took two sentences. That’s it. No investigations, no hearings, no discussions. Bush’s Military Commissions Act of 2006, one of the scariest pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen, was used to justify these indefinite imprisonments, and Obama’s silence on Bagram can only mean he condones this Caesar-esque power.
Why is Obama closing one U.S. Gulag but keeping open another? Well, Gitmo is 90 miles off the shore of Florida, so its stain hits closer to home, and it’s a way of throwing a bone to his anti-war base while he pulls new war levers like a debt-ridden gambler at a casino. You might not know it from any of the Pharoah-fanning media, but Obama is doing his best Alexander the Great Slaughterer impression in Afghanistan as his 21,000 troop “surge” is beginning to arrive. In fact, the bombing of Afghanistan has increased every single month Obama has been in office. There’s going to be a lot more detainees headed Bagram’s way thanks to O-bomber (and his equally bloodthirsty Sec. of State Hillary the Hawk) as he spends $200 million dollars a day bombing the Afghan countryside.
I bring up Obama’s torture two-face because tomorrow, June 26, is the International Day of Support for Victims of Torture. The CIA, FBI, and the Pentagram Pentagon might be up for weeks if they thought about all of their victims of torture, as well as the other rarely-discussed victims: the 5th and 8th Amendments of the Bill of Rights. The 8th protects against “cruel and unusual punishment,” and the 5th declares that no one “shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” Obama, like Bush before him, is willing to use tortured confessions to prosecute detainees, and Obama’s civil liberties axe is just as sharp as Bush’s.
On Torture Day, Obama’s White House will continue to be haunted by the ghosts of Bagram.