Friday, July 31, 2009

A Kid in Guantanamo

I heard a snippet of a story today on NPR that I thought I must not have heard right because it sounded too outrageous to be true. I looked into it further only to find my fears realized.

A young Afghani, Mohammed Jawad, has grown up in our custody a the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility since 2002, almost 7 years now. The story of Guantanamo is not new, and the controversy surrounding it has been in the National Debate for some time now, but what shocked me was to hear that this particular kid may have been as young as 12 years old when he was captured by Northern Alliance Officials. (It's my understanding that at that time The Northern Alliance was being paid a bounty for handing over prisoners who were militants working in support of Taliban, or Al Qaeda.)

While tortured by members of the Northern Alliance it is alleged that Jawad admitted to throwing a hand grenade at a U.S. military Jeep injuring 2 soldiers and their interpreter. Jawad was then handed over to the U.S. and he was transfered to Guantanamo where he recanted those statements.

According to the Christian Science Monitor the interrogations continued while the kid was in our custody.

"Jawad's files show extensive efforts to obtain more detailed information through repeated interrogations at Guantánamo. Records show that Jawad was subject to a sleep deprivation technique called the "frequent flyer program." At one point Guantánamo guards moved him from cell to cell 112 times within a two-week period. This regime required him to be shackled, moved, and unshackled on average once every two hours and 50 minutes."

If the facts of the story are as I have come to understand them then I view this as a terrible violation of at the very least the spirit of this nations highest values and laws.

As citizens we cannot just allow these things slip by. Allowing our representatives to miscarry justice in such a manner is a threat to all of our security.