Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag

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Source: CNN.COM

I’ve heard that the Senate report on CIA torture is 6,000 pages long. My story, though, takes place elsewhere: in Guantanamo, away from the CIA program that the report covers. The 6,000 pages of the Senate report are just the start of what Americans have to accept happened in their name.

It starts and ends in the silence of a tiny, freezing cold cell, alone.

That’s when you hold yourself in a ball, and fight to ignore the confusion of what has just happened to you, and the fear of what might be coming next. Or the fear that comes when you realize that no one is coming to help; that the life, family and friends you knew are all far, far away.

The cell door opens. The next session, seemingly the 100th in a row. I think my first period of interrogation lasted three full months. Two teams of interrogators running shifts, day and night.

Each session begins with shouting, to wake me up. Then they hit me on the face and the back. I am so desperate for sleep, my head is swimming. There are photographs of faces stuck all around the walls of this room. They demand that I identify the individuals, but I can barely focus to see if I might know them. The shouting and the insults get louder, and then they nod to a man in the corner. He injects me twice in the arm with some unknown substance. It’s the last thing I know.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards enter, making awful honking noises, like wild animals.

I tried to refuse to eat the little food they bring me, in protest at all this. The interrogator laughs at me, but then turns angry; he swears loudly, and pours an army meal pack over my head. They tell the man in the corner to start feeding me intravenously. He inserts the tube in two different places on my arm and makes it bleed.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards push me on the floor and take turns trampling over my back.

I tell the interrogators that I can’t face not eating any more. They throw food on the floor of the room and tell me to eat like a pig. They won’t let me go to the restroom. They watch as it gets more painful, and laugh as they get the translator to describe how they will rape me if I pee in my pants.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. They make me stand and salute the American flag.

I’m in a sort of cinema room, where I have to watch videos of other prisoners being abused. Then they tell me that I have to dance for them, and run in circles whilst they pull on my chains. Every time I try and refuse, they touch me in my most private areas.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. It has rained, and there are muddy puddles everywhere. I’m shackled, so I can’t really walk; they deliberately drag me through the muddy puddles.

Now it’s the pornography room. Awful pictures everywhere. There is one with a man and a donkey. I’m stripped naked and have my beard shaved, in a gratuitous insult to my religion. I’m shown pornographic pictures of women. I’m told to make the noises of different animals, and when I refuse, they just hit me. It ends with them pouring cold water all over me.

Hours later in my cell, I am discovered, nearly frozen. The doctor tells them to bring me urgently to the clinic, where I am given a blanket and treatment. Over the next hours, they observe me as I warm up. They are just waiting for the moment that they can sign off on my return to interrogation.

Four years ago, six U.S. government security agencies sat together and reviewed my case. Their conclusion? That I was innocent of any crime and should be released. The dirty and sadistic methods I endured — which were then taken directly to Abu Ghraib — achieved nothing, except to shame that American flag hanging in the prison corridor, which I was made to salute.

One hundred and thirty-six prisoners are still being held at Guantanamo, whilst the politicians squabble over how to black out the Senate report. America cannot keep hiding from its past, and its present, like this. Our stories, and our continued detention, cannot be made to disappear.

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2 thoughts on “Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag

  1. Subhaan Allaah! It pains me to read this and know how many will ignore or forget the reality of what this nation has become. I’m sickened to think of my ancestors fighting for the very independence of this nation and it’s existence and what they would think if they read such horrors done in the name of the country the fought so bravely for. Make no mistake; I am American and grew up part of the status quo. However, the trail of injustices was apparent to me even then and has only become more blatantly obvious with age and experience. I pray that Allaah grants justice to all our brothers and sisters who are oppressed both here and abroad, and that He guides us towards what pleases Him in respect of words and actions. May Allaah forgive us!

  2. I have tears in my eyes and pain in my heart…pain and fury in my heart. I cannot even imagine myself lasting an hour in that torture. I cannot stop the tears in my eyes and the pain and anguish I feel in my heart.
    My dear Brothers and Sisters who are enduring the unimaginable tortures in these hells on earth, I pray for you from the bottom of my heart that, May Allah The Most Merciful; reward you greatly and end your pain and sufferings and reunite you with your families. May Allah The Most Powerful and Just, Avenge your sufferings.
    We as an Ummah have failed so miserably, on so many levels that it is not hard to see why we are being so Viciously Persecuted and not just persecuted but also why we are suffering a genocide. And yet again we fail to stand up! even though we know This Cowardice, This Inaction will lead to the inevitable and very humiliating future. A future we are paving for our children to live in and that is only if They grant our Children a chance to live long enough to face the Humiliation, Persecution and Concentration Camps.
    We know where we are and where we are headed. But we don’t stand up or speak up for fear of retaliation and fear of being labeled as “Terrorist” or “Extremist” or as a “Sympathizer of Terrorists & Extremists”and if by some merical someone among us stands up for us, we are more then happy to denounce them as “Terrorists/Extremists”
    Hear me clearly They are Heroes! They are Freedom Fighters! They Seek Justice and not just for us Muslims but for the entire World! Because Islam is all this world needs!
    There are numerous Ahadiths and verses and passages from the Noble Quran I can quote but my Favorite is Nasrun MinAllahi Wa’fathun Qareeb.. Allah SWT doesn’t need our help to give victory to his deen. We need to step forward today for our Aakhira and ask Allah SWT’s Forgiveness and help. Because Allah SWT has promised The Victory to Islam & Muslims! its just up to us if we want to be a part of those who Allah chooses!

    All In All, Times might seem very tough and the oppressors might seem very powerful but hold firmly to the rope of Allah Azza Wa Jal. Victory is only from Allah Azza Wa Jal and he will surely reward the ones who strive for him with their wealth and lives. So Strive for Allah Azza Wa Jal and be Steadfast because The Reward and blessings of Allah are beyond our imaginationsand This world!

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