Kate, you have absolutely and utterly no basis for what you call a belief. Only trials can determine innocence or guilt--as far as possible--and in America we have a presumption of innocence. By all standards of American law and principle and ethics, they are all presumed innocent. It is deeply wrong to claim they are not when you have nothing at all but a totally unbased opinion. No one is there because they have been convicted of anything. People are arrested and tried to find out if they are guilty not because they are.
Yes--to everyone, I know this is pointless, but sometimes one must be a witness and refuse to read such a thing in silence.
As that is everything I mean to say or I think worth saying, I don't mean to get pulled into another set of exchanges.
>>> Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]> 06/22/07 12:03 PM >>>
Al-Jazeera is not known for its truthful and/or accurate reporting. In fact, the mainstream press in most democratic countres, not just ours, will not use them as a source, as their reporting can be totally and knowingly inaccurate.
At for the prisoners at Gitmo, I believe that all prisoners, even terrorists, are entitled to counsel and basic rights. Having said this, I must also state that I do not believe that Gitmo is filled with innocents.
From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 11:07 pm
Subject: Poems from Guantanamo
Published on Thursday, June 21, 2007 by
nmates' Words: The Poems of Guantanamo
The publication of an anthology of works, composed on paper cups by
etainees, provides a harrowing insight into the torments and fading
opes of prisoners. by Leonard Doyle
The words of the celebrated Pakistani poet were scratched on the sides
f a Styrofoam cup with a pebble. Then, under the eyes of Guantanamo
ay's prison guards, they were secretly passed from cell to cell. When
he guards discovered what was going on, they smashed the containers and
hrew them away, fearing that it was a way of passing coded
Fragments of these "cup poems" survived, however, and are included in an
4-page anthology entitled Poems from Guantanamo: the Detainees Speak,
o be published later this year by the University of Iowa Press.
The verses provide a harrowing insight into the torments and fading
opes of the prisoners. Only two Guantanamo inmates have been charged
ith a crime.
They were brought to light by Marc Falkoff, a US professor of law with a
octorate in American literature. He represents 17 Yemeni inmates and
as made 10 visits to Guantanamo. He dedicates the book to "my friends
nside the wire".
In the summer of 2005 Professor Falkoff was sent two poems from his
lients. Written in Arabic, they were included in letters they could
egally send. Because all communication with the detainees is deemed a
otential threat to national security, everything - letters, interview
otes, legal documents - must be sealed and sent to a US intelligence
acility for review. The two poems were deemed a potential risk and
emain classified to this day.
Professor Falkoff contacted other lawyers and discovered that several
ad received poems from their clients. Other detainees, like the two
eleased Britons, Moazzam Begg and Martin Mubanga, wrote poetry while in
rison and brought them with them on their release.
Censorship remains absolute at the camp however. As far as the US
ilitary is concerned: "poetry … presents a special risk, and DoD
Department of Defence] standards are not to approve the release of any
oetry in its original form or language". The fear, officers say, is
hat allegorical imagery in poetry may be used to convey coded messages
o militants outside.
That is scoffed at by Professor Falkoff. "These are the same military
ensors who in 2004 tried to stop me receiving allegations of abusive
reatment of my clients who were being subjected to intense heat and
old and forcele flies at dawn,' the censors might have a
ase, but they are not. I fully accept their right to stop any coded
essages to militants outside. But what the military fears is not so
uch the possibility of secret messages being communicated, but the
ower of words to make people outside realise that these are human
eings who have not had their day in court."
The thoughts of the inmates are considered so potentially dangerous by
he US military that they are not even trusted with pen and paper. The
nly exception is an occasional 10-minute period when they are allowed
o write to their families via the International Red Cross. Even then
he words they write are heavily censored.
The 380 or so inmates of Guantanamo include some avowed Islamic
ilitants and al-Qa'ida fighters. But the majority are there because
hey were swept up by the police and intelligence services of other
ountries working on behalf of the US. In their despair many of these
etainees have turned to verse to express their innermost feelings.
Others have attempted or committed suicide. One of the poets is a
ahraini man who has been held in solitary confinement since the end of
003. He has tried to kill himself 12 times while in the prison. On one
ccasion, he was found by his lawyer, hanging by his neck and bleeding
rom a gash to his arm.
There are other tragic tales behind the verses. The "cup poems" of
uantanamo speak of the strange absence of flowers in spring, the
angles worn by young women and handcuffs on the militants.
Fragments survived in the memory of the poet Shaikh Abdurraheem Muslim
ost after his eventual release, but thousands of lines of poetry he
rote in prison have disappeared.
Dost, a respected religious scholar, poet, and journalist - and author
f nearly 20 books - until his arrest in 2001, spent nearly three years
n Guantanamo with his brother. Sent home two years ago, the brothers
ere picked up by Pakistani intelligence and they too disappeared.
othing has been heard of them since.
Aami al Haj, a Sudanese national, was a journalist covering the war in
fghanistan for al-Jazeera television, when, in 2001, he was arrested
tripped of his passport and press card and handed over to US forces. He
as tortured at both Bagram air base and Kandahar before being
ransferred to Guantanamo Bay. The US military says he was a financial
ourier for Chechen rebels and that he assisted al-Qa'ida but has
ffered no evidence to support the claims.
"When I heard pigeons cooing in the trees, Hot tears covered my face,"
e wrote from his prison cell. "They have monuments to liberty And
reedom of opinion, which is well and good. But I explained to them,
hat Architecture is not justice."
Humiliated In The Shackles
by Sami al Hajj
When I heard pigeons cooing in the trees,
Hot tears covered my face.
When the lark chirped, my thoughts composed
A message for my son.
Mohammad, I am afflicted.
In my despair, I have no one but Allah for comfort.
The oppressors are playing with me,
As they move freely around the world.
They ask me to spy on my countrymen,
Claiming it would be a good deed.
They offer me money and land,
And freedom to go where I please.
Their temptations seize
My attention like lightning in the sky.
But their gift is an empty snake,
Carrying hypocrisy in its mouth like venom,
They have monuments to liberty
And freedom of opinion, which is well and good.
But I explained to them that
Architecture is not justice.
America, you ride on the backs of orphans,
And terrorize them daily.
The world recognizes an arrogant liar.
To Allah I direct my grievance and my tears.
I am homesick and oppressed.
Mohammad, do not forget me.
Support the cause of your father, a God-fearing man.
I was humiliated in the shackles.
How can I now compose verses? How can I now write?
After the shackles and the nights and the suffering and the tears,
nt with passion.
I am a captive, but the crimes are my captors'.
I am overwhelmed with apprehension.
Lord, unite me with my son Mohammad.
Lord, grant success to the righteous.
An Al-Jazeera cameraman, Sami al Hajj, a Sudanese, was visiting his
rother in Damascus after the 11 September attacks when he got a call
sking him to go to Pakistan to cover the impending war in Afghanistan.
nstead, he ended up in Guantanamo where he claims he has been severely
nd regularly beaten, scarring his face.
by Jumah al Dossari
Take my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.
Send them to the world,
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded.
And let them bear the guilty burden, before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden, before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the "protectors of
Arrested in Pakistan and held in solitary confinement since 2003, Jumah
l Dossari's mental wellbeing is worrying his lawyers. The 33-year old
ahraini national has tried to kill himself 12 times since his
ncarceration in Guantanamo. On one visit, his lawyer found him hanging
n a bedsheet noose, with a deep gash in one wrist. In a letter Mr
ossari wrote in 2005, he said: "The purpose of Guantanamo is to destroy
eople and I have been destroyed."
Is It True?
by Osama Abu Kadir
Is it true that the grass grows again after rain?
Is it true that the flowers will rise up again in the Spring?
Is it true that birds will migrate home again?
Is it true that the salmon swim back up their streams?
It is true. This is true. These are all miracles.
But is it true that one day we'll leave Guantanamo Bay?
Is it true that one day we'll go back to our homes?
I sail in my dreams. I am dreaming of home.
To be with my children, each one part of me;
To be with my wife and the ones that I love;
To be with my parents, my world's tenderest hearts.
I dream to be home, to be free from this cage.
But do you hear me, oh Judge, do you hear me at all?
We are innocent, here, we've committed no crime.
Set me free, set us free, if anywhere still
Justice and compassion remain in this world!
Shortly after 11 September, Osama Abu Kadir travelled to Pakistan to
erform charity work in Afghanistan with the Islamic missionary group
ablighi Jamat. The US claims Tablighi was providing fighters for jihad
n Afghanistan and arrested Mr Kadir near Jalalabad in November 2001. In
is native Jordan, he was known as a dedicated family man who worked as
truck driver. In Guantanamo, he is known as prisoner number 651.
AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.