Sioux Falls Free Thinkers

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For all those with Open Minds!

An Open Mind by Megan Godtland

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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse GITMO for exposing the
New American Prison Camp, carefully hidden away from
congressional oversight and civil rights lawyers.
A place where human rights can be violated with impunity.

The New Rules of War

GITMO (2007) - 82 minutes

Jolting and impossible to ignore, this provocative and intelligent expose cuts through the official lies and cover-ups to find out what really goes on at America's central gulag in the war on terror, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. GITMO: The New Rules Of War is fueled by a jarring, globetrotting investigative fury that lends an ear to a fascinating cast of individuals: tortured detainees released from this "island outside the law," retired military officers who oversaw Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and former interrogators familiar with America's torture techniques. Ardently seeking to pierce the veil of secrecy, filmmakers Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh initially set out to learn what happened to a single Gitmo detainee - Mehdi, a young Muslim from Sweden - but end up scouring the globe for the hard-to-find truth.

From a plaza in Sweden where Mehdi's father protests by locking himself in a cage to the deceptively beautiful shores of Guantanamo, GITMO fearlessly probes a shadow world where lawless corporate mercenaries handle interrogations and the Geneva Conventions have all but been suspended.

1-31-18 Trump signs order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay military prison open. Mr Trump announced the move in his State of the Union address. The decision reverses that of former President Barack Obama, who had said he wanted to close the controversial site "as soon as practicable". The facility in Cuba has been used since the 9/11 attacks to detain what Washington calls "enemy combatants", but only 41 prisoners remain there. Hundreds were transferred away from the facility during the Obama era. A White House statement confirmed the order had been signed to resist the detention facility's closure, and affirmed the administration's right to detain enemy combatants when necessary. "Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are," Mr Trump said during Tuesday's speech. "In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists only to meet them again on the battlefield," he added, giving as an example the Islamic State group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was held in US custody in Iraq. The first detainees were sent there in January 2002, and more than 700 have been held there since - many without charge or criminal trial. The facility has been controversial since its opening, with human rights groups complaining about conditions there amid allegations of torture. (Webmaster's comment: Trump keeps the United States prototype prison/death camp in business. They'll die there with no trial and no legal recourse.)

12-10-17 Art from inside Guantanamo Bay's prison
Ode to the Sea is a collection of artworks made by inmates from the controversial military prison, Guantanamo Bay. The exhibition is on display at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. (Webmaster's comment: Are all the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay really guilty of any crime? They have never been charged and tried in a court of law.)

7-7-17 Canada 'paid $8m' to Omar Khadr, ex-Guantanamo detainee
Canada 'paid $8m' to Omar Khadr, ex-Guantanamo detainee
Canada has issued a C$10.5m ($8m; £6m) settlement to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr. The federal government also apologised "for any role Canadian officials may have played in relation to his ordeal abroad and any resulting harm." Canadian-born Khadr, 30, was captured in 2002 in Afghanistan at the age of 15, and spent a decade in Guantanamo. He was convicted in 2010 by a US military commission of killing US Army Sgt Christopher Speer. "We hope that this expression, and the negotiated settlement reached with the Government, will assist him in his efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in his life with his fellow Canadians," said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and the Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in a statement. The Liberal government refused to officially disclose the the amount of the legal settlement despite the figure being widely leaked to numerous media outlets. Khadr was suing the government for $20m on claims Ottawa conspired with the US in breaching his constitutional rights. Khadr was the youngest prisoner ever detained at the US military prison in Cuba. He became a cause celebre for opponents of the Guantanamo Bay naval base and his case received international attention. Khadr said his confessions to US officials were made under duress. (Webmaster's comment: A 15 year-old boy child would confess to anything when tortured wouldn't he.)

7-4-17 Ex-Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr to get apology and pay
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr to get apology and pay
Canada will issue an apology and compensation to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr for abuses he suffered while in prison, reports say. Canadian-born Khadr, 30, was convicted in 2010 by a US military commission of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan. He was captured in 2002 at the age of 15 and spent a decade in the US prison. In 2010, Canada's Supreme Court ruled that he was interrogated under "oppressive circumstances." He will reportedly be paid $8m (£6m). Khadr's lawyers met with justice department attorneys last month to reach the deal, the Toronto Star newspaper reported, quoting unnamed sources. The announcement of an official apology and compensation would be made next week, the reports added. When asked about the case, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, would not confirm any details. (Webmaster's comment: The United States should pay the compensation and those who imprisoned and tortured him should be arrested, charged, tried, convicted, and imprisoned for 10 years!)

3-7-17 Reality Check: Who released the Guantanamo re-offenders?
Reality Check: Who released the Guantanamo re-offenders?
The claim: One hundred and twenty-two prisoners freed by President Obama from Guantanamo Bay engaged in "terrorist or insurgent activities" after their release. Reality Check verdict: All but nine of the 122 released prisoners the US says were involved in "terrorist or insurgent activities" after leaving Guantanamo were not freed by Obama but by his predecessor, George W Bush. President Donald Trump tweeted on 7 March to criticise former President Obama's administration for releasing 122 prisoners from "Gitmo", a shorthand for the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention centre, who "returned to the battlefield". The detention facility, opened in 2002 to detain terror suspects after the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan, is part of a US naval base in south-eastern Cuba. At least every six months, the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who oversees the US intelligence community, publishes details of how many former Guantanamo Bay prisoners are "confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorist activities after release or transfer". The DNI defines those activities as planning or financing terrorist operations, conducting an attack and recruiting others for terrorist activities. According to the most recent published statistics, dated 15 July 2016, 122 former detainees are confirmed to have directly been involved in terrorist or insurgent activities after they have been transferred out of Guantanamo. However, only nine out of the 122 were transferred after 22 January 2009, when Barack Obama took office. The rest - 113 - were released by his Republican predecessor, President George W Bush.

1-4-17 Donald Trump says Guantanamo Bay releases must end
Donald Trump says Guantanamo Bay releases must end
US President-elect Donald Trump says there must be no further releases of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba. He said those left were "extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield". President Barack Obama had vowed to close the jail during his tenure and has transferred out many prisoners. Around 60 inmates remain and the White House said later on Tuesday it expected more transfers before 20 January. Mr Trump had opposed Mr Obama's closure plan during the presidential election campaign. Last February he said: "This morning, I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right, Guantanamo Bay, which by the way, which by the way, we are keeping open. "Which we are keeping open... and we're gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we're gonna load it up." (Webmaster's comment: America's very own torture and death camp. Trump and Hitler would be proud! Our nation's leaders will be beyond redemption!)

6-10-16 Guantánamo’s ‘forever prisoners’
Guantánamo’s ‘forever prisoners’
President Obama came into office vowing to close the notorious prison at Guantánamo Bay. Why didn’t he succeed? There are still 80 “enemy combatants” being held at the Guantánamo Bay military detention center at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. That’s down from the total of 779 inmates imprisoned there since the Bush administration created the detention center as part of the “war on terror” in January 2002. When President Obama took office in 2009, 242 inmates remained, most of whom hadn’t been charged with a crime; days later, he signed an executive order requiring Guantánamo to be closed within the year. But Obama’s efforts to empty the facility and transfer remaining inmates to federal prisons have been stymied by adamant Republican opposition. Guantánamo correspondent Carol Rosenberg was assigned by The Miami Herald to cover the prison’s closure more than 12 years ago. “As it stands,” says Rosenberg, “it could be that we will just be waiting for the last guy to die before it closes.” (Webmaster's comment: In other words it's a DEATH CAMP just like the Nazi's had! What a travesty for a nation supposedly standing for freedom and liberty to have. Supported by your Republican legislators.)

8-16-16 Guantanamo Bay: US in largest detainee transfer under Obama
Guantanamo Bay: US in largest detainee transfer under Obama
The US says it has sent 15 Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United Arab Emirates - the largest single transfer during President Barack Obama's administration. The Pentagon says the transfer of 12 Yemeni nationals and three Afghans brings the total number of prisoners down to 61 at the US facility in Cuba. The released inmates had been held without charge, some for over 14 years. President Obama wants to close the prison before he leaves office. (Webmaster's comment: The Guantanamo Bay concentration camp is one of the clearest violations of humans rights by the United States!)

2-8-16 Sleep deprivation linked to false confession in milestone study
Sleep deprivation linked to false confession in milestone study
The first study to show lack of sleep can lead to false confessions could be used in court to prevent miscarriages of justice, predict legal experts. Although hard to fathom, false confessions happen surprisingly often; they are thought to play a role in up to a quarter of wrongful convictions in the US, according to the campaign group the Innocence Project. In many cases, as in Thibodeaux’s, the suspect was profoundly sleep deprived during their police interviews. Now a study has shed more light on how easily severe exhaustion can lead to this type of false confession. Legal experts are predicting it will be cited in future court cases. “It’s a milestone,” says Lawrence Sherman, head of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

The New Rules of War

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse GITMO for exposing the
New American Prison Camp, carefully hidden away from
congressional oversight and civil rights lawyers.
A place where human rights can be violated with impunity.