Sunday, August 23, 2009

Secret prisons by any other name...

The NYT reports that the ICRC will now be given the names of so-called terrorist suspects in Obama's secret prisons "temporary screening sites" in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But, wait a minute, you're thinking - didn't Obama close the secret prisons?

Well, no.

The executive order he signed last January only included secret CIA prisons. (And we'll never really know if that has actually happened, will we?) Meanwhile, the US military is still more than free to have its own little private gulags.

The New York Times reported in 2006 that some soldiers at the temporary detention site in Iraq, then located at Baghdad International Airport and called Camp Nama, beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces, and used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball.

Military officials say conditions at the camps have improved significantly since then, but virtually all details of the sites remain shrouded in secrecy.

There's more of that promised transparency Obama campaigned on.

How often do we need to be reminded that people taken prisoner during these wars have been continuously denied their basic human rights while our governments pretend otherwise?

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