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Posted November 24, 2007
I was hoping for more factual information without bias. The biggest problem I had was that there is no bibliography to help verify the authenticity of facts as presented. Smith engages in lot of anecdotal stories meant to ridicule the military. He belittles the way they salute and greet each other. He belittles the programming on AFN television. He even makes snide remarks about KBR profiteering in a matter that is completely unrelated to to the issues of the detainees. When he quotes people he doesn't like he quotes them stuttering and stammering to make them look foolish. He would have us believe his clients went to Afghanistan to kick a drug habit. He makes his clients out to be noble people innocently traveling between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He informs us next to nothing about the detainees crimes but focuses on the evil Americans as torturers. He discusses the movie 'A Few Good Men' and says he reconginzed some parts of Guantanamo. The movies was filmed in California not on location. Strange. I was expecting more factual information and was disapointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 12, 2007
This excellent book by the lawyer Clive Stafford Smith is a chilling exposé of the revolting crimes committed by the US state at Guantanamo Bay. It was written under US military censorship rules, so he has been forced to conceal worse horrors than he reveals. Since January 2002, 759 people have been imprisoned there, including 64 children. After five years, fewer than half the prisoners have even met a lawyer, but most have met a torturer. The US state uses the `ticking bomb¿ rationale to try to justify torturing prisoners. But there has never been a single case where torture saved lives by yielding information that prevented the explosion of a ticking bomb. The US state has also used this rationale to encourage, assist and exploit torture by its allies. Torture in Egypt led to the false confession of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qa¿ida, a claim used to try to try to get us to support attacking Iraq. Torture in Morocco led to the US state¿s allegation of a plot to explode a dirty bomb in New York. The people that US Attorney-General Ashcroft named as responsible were never charged with the plot because, as officials said, that ¿could open up charges from defence lawyers that their earlier statements were a result of torture.¿ This was to admit that the charges were true. Under the US military commission¿s procedures for trying just ten of Guantanamo Bay¿s prisoners, even if the defendant were acquitted, he could still be held forever because all prisoners are supposedly ¿enemy combatants that we captured on the battlefield¿ (administration lawyer) ¿these are people picked up off the battlefield in Afghanistan¿ (Bush). But in the real world, 55% of the prisoners are not even alleged ever to have taken part in hostilities. 95% of them were not captured by US troops they were turned over to the USA by Pakistan or Afghanistan¿s Northern Alliance, for payment equivalent to seven years¿ salaries. 92% have not even been accused of being Al Qa¿ida fighters. Stafford Smith recounts the commission hearing of Binyam Mohamed in December 2005. The senior prosecutor allegedly said, ¿the military panel will be hand-picked and will not acquit these detainees.¿ Lord Justice Steyn called these commissions kangaroo courts, where judges bound straight from charges to verdicts. In June 2006 the Supreme Court ruled that the commissions were illegal. In October, Congress reinstated them by passing Bush¿s Military Commissions Act. Stafford Smith estimates that the US state is holding another 14,000 prisoners in other camps and prisons across the world, including on Britain¿s colony of Diego Garcia. Even Goering was given a fair trial ¿ how many of these 14,000 people will ever get a fair trial? The Labour government has connived at and participated in these disgusting crimes that strengthen only Al Qa¿ida.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.