Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Naomi Wolf: “Friending” Binyam Mohamed

Naomi Wolf‘s ongoing investigation into torture abuses perpetrated by US military personnel against detainees continues. She had the opportunity to speak directly to one of these former detainees, Binyam Mohamed, whose alleged treatment was shocking and shameful.

From The Huffington Post:

For four years now, I have been following the fates of the hundreds of men who have been — and the 200 plus men who still are — being held at Guantánamo Bay, and, the record is now clear, most of whom have been tortured. But until this week I had never actually heard such a single man’s actual voice.

When I went to the prison in June of this year, we journalists were brought to view the prisoners from afar — exactly as if they were dangerous animals in a cage. They called to us, anguishedly, in a voice that still haunts me. “Can I talk to them?” I asked. Many of them speak English. No; no, no, was the answer. No one is permitted to talk to them. Prisoners in the US have many rights to speak, even from prison; but silencing the Guantánamo detainees has been a key to maintaining a working injustice, as well as a key to manipulating US popular opinion. Bill Kristol and Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz Cheney have started a new organization to spin the torture at Guantánamo and elsewhere: ‘Keep America Safe.’ (Or: ‘Keep Daddy Out of Prison.’) But if the perpetrators are to continue to spin America, the prisoners’ voices have to continue to be silenced.

Even those who empathize with the detainees tend to speak ‘for’ them — casting them as faceless, voiceless victims, just as the opposite ‘side’ casts them as faceless, voiceless monsters.

Recently I have been in touch with Binyam Mohamed, who is the UK resident who was released from Guantánamo in February — after seven years’ captivity without charges — and who last Friday won a major victory when a British court ruled that the US and the UK could not continue to conceal from the public seven paragraphs in documents that describe the horrific torture of Mr Mohamed in ‘black sites’ and at Guantánamo. He is also suing Boeing for its part in rendering him to ‘black sites.’

The UK government is appealing the ruling, so we still can’t know what happened to him; but officials have told reporters that one action that the paragraphs describe is the cutting of genitals with a razor; waterboarding, this official said dryly, is well down on the list of atrocities Mr. Mohamed suffered.

President Obama has sought to keep these seven paragraphs under seal. Hillary Clinton has also. Joe Lieberman drafted an amendment to a bill to conceal photographs relating to this abuse.

Read the whole article here.


Related Articles:

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

“Rules for Revolutionaries” Offers New Political Playbook for Activists

A riveting behind-the-scenes look at the “rules” used by the “revolutionaries” who helped harness the volunteer power that fueled Bernie Sanders’ historic, and insurgent, presidential campaign.Authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley led the Sanders campaign’s efforts to recruit and engage volunteers at an unprecedented level, which was crucial to the Vermont senator capturing 46 percent […] Read More

Born on Third Base: A Q&A with Author and Inequality Activist Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. Does it have to be this way?Can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By