Friday, April 28, 2006

Bread and roses

The U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo holds hundreds of men who are not terrorists or enemy combatants. Many of those are even recognized as innocent by our government, but for one reason or another, continue to be held.

I've been following the story of the camp so closely since it opened, and read so many horrifying accounts, that by now the impact has dulled. But this story, by a lawyer for one of these men, reduced me to tears:

...[Saddiq] lives behind razor wire in Camp Iguana, with eight other men whom the military cleared long ago but who are nevertheless forbidden newspapers, visits from loved ones, English-language dictionaries -- and flowers.

For some time we lawyers have been asking the military for a garden. Gardens are commonplace in prisoner-of-war camps, and these men aren't even enemies. They live in a pen, but it has a small patch of ground. Why not? The military refused.

You can probably guess the rest of the story, particularly if you are a gardener, but do read it. Saddiq is beginning his fifth year as a prisoner.

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At 11:00 PM, April 28, 2006, Blogger elendil said...

There will be retribution for this. There must be retribution for this. The American people will not go unpunished.

At 12:59 PM, April 29, 2006, Blogger CathiefromCanada said...

I just found your blog after reading a great comment you made to Belle Waring's post, describing everything you and your community did to oppose the Iraq war -- a remarkable story. If the media wonders why people are turning to the internet for news, well, their cheerleading for the Iraq war will go down in history as the cause.
Excellent post about Guantanamo, by the way.

At 6:22 PM, April 29, 2006, Blogger Nell said...

Thanks, Cathie. My partner was raised in Canada, and for the first five years here we were able to get CBC on the big satellite dish. It was so great to be able to see not only the National but the shows (how I miss 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes). Then it went away and we had to settle for NewsWorld Intl on the little dish, and now even that's gone. Just a bit of Ron Maclean and Don Cherry on the occasional Center Ice game...

At 6:48 PM, April 29, 2006, Blogger Nell said...

Elendil, I hear you. Impunity is poison.

My motivation for getting into shape, eating right, etc. is to live long enough to see Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, and their henchmen in the dock.

Your last sentence can be read in several different ways, though. The question of collective responsibility is a knotty one. I reject utterly the idea that I should be punished, having worked in every way I know how to oppose these policies and the people who put them into effect. But I don't expect those enraged and humiliated by those policies to distinguish from afar between me and any other American.

Which is all the more reason to hurry up with firings, impeachment, and trials....

At 9:23 AM, April 30, 2006, Blogger Nell said...

Katherine, in comments at Obsidian Wings, provides background on Saddiq. It only makes the story more painful.

At 8:20 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger elendil said...

Your last sentence can be read in several different ways, though.

I suppose it was a pure statement of fact -- there are consequences for these actions -- but I would be lying if I told you it wasn't said with anger.

It's okay, I'm calm now :-) I've found a good place to direct that energy. Would you be interested in joining us?

At 5:25 PM, May 28, 2006, Blogger Nell said...

Thanks, elendil, for letting me know about this opportunity. I'll do a post on Torture Awareness Month soon (before June). I'm guest posting at another blog soon, and will take the opportunity to write about it there, also.

Have you emailed Jeanne of Body and Soul? She's been on hiatus, but I know she'd be willing to put a link up, and she might be interested in making just one post for this purpose in June. Another blogger to ask is the Slacktivist, Fred Clark.

At 7:08 PM, May 28, 2006, Blogger elendil said...

Cool, I'll add you to the blogroll.

I did email Jeanne, but she didn't respond. Then I left a comment, and she closed the comments soon after. I guess she doesn't want to be disturbed right now.


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