As a months-long hunger strike persists in the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Molly Crabapple’s drawings of seven detainees—one of whom was released last week—challenges us to remember their history and humanity.
By Molly Crabapple with Creative Time Reports
September 3, 2013
America wants to forget about Gitmo.
Sure, we gloat about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. When I visited Guantanamo in June to cover the 9/11 military commissions for VICE, I drew him through three layers of bulletproof glass. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a mass murderer, and we caught him. U-S-A Number One.
But KSM-style terrorists are rare at Gitmo. Out of the 164 men held in the island prison, the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Military Commissions, Brigadier General Mark Martins, told me that 144 would never be charged with any crime.
During the invasion of Afghanistan, the United States offered locals $5,000 bounties for turning in terrorists. Instead, we got a mixture of Taliban draftees, guys who shot rifles at Islamic training camps in the 1990s, Uighurs fighting China and, above all, Arabs in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Becky Johnson, one of the Santa Cruz 11 and an organizing member of HUFF, gave a wonderful speech at our Speakout + Rally on April 6th on local homeless issues and conditions in Santa Cruz County Jail. Below is the transcript, audio and video are coming soon:
When President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office in 1961, he warned “Beware the Military-Industrial Complex.” Today, it’s “Beware the Prison-Industrial Complex.” For prisons today have become big business in a country where manufacturing generally is suffering & unemployment rates are high.
Mar. 13 2013
As more than 100 Guantánamo Bay prisoners enter the fifth week of their hunger strike, the Obama administration has defended their detention at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. A number of prisoners have been held without charge for more than 11 years, and more than half have been cleared for release. Attorneys for the prisoners told the hearing that the lack of hope for release among those who do not face charges has created a climate of despair. The senior adviser for Guantánamo policy countered that the Obama administration is working within restrictions imposed by Congress to transfer prisoners out of the prison as part of an effort to close the facility — one of President Obama’s original campaign promises. We speak to Kristine Huskey, director of the Anti-Torture Program for Physicians for Human Rights and one of the first attorneys to represent Guantánamo detainees. The author of “Justice at Guantánamo: One Woman’s Odyssey and Her Crusade for Human Rights,” Huskey testified at Tuesday’s hearing. We’re also joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.