Three Day Series: Guantánamo Bay [day 2]

Once, in 8th grade I was dismissed from a history class before the movie Schindler’s List was to be shown. My teacher asked me, instead, to go to the library and write a series of poems about the Holocaust based on what we had learned. He never explained to me why exactly he pulled me out of class, but I assume it is because I have always been an extremely sensitive soul and the movie would have burned itself into my very soul for all eternity. I won several poetry contests in middle school.

The idea that leaders could capture people, proof or not, and force them into concentrations camps or interrogation rooms; rip them away from their families and in many ways destroy their life forever, is something incomprehensible to me. I grew up glad to be a US citizen, glad to be living some place where I knew of liberty and justice.

I grew up. I learned things are not always what they seem.

It disgusts me to no end that in the 21st century the United States of America, the “land of the free” could have their very own detention camp located within the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. It is used as an extrajudicial detainment and interrogation facility. The abuse which takes place within those walls has been deemed torture on many accounts and that is not only tragic, but it is inexcusable and unforgivable.

A total of 775 men have passed through the prison – some of them children – and been subjected to harsh interrogation techniques: a euphemism for torture techniques like water boarding.

The Obama administration said they would shut down Guantánamo Bay when President Obama took office, now over three years since he took office it has yet to happen.  Today, 171 men remain at Guantánamo. Many of them remain because no nation will now accept them.

January 11, 2012, marks 10 years since the first detainees were transferred to the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

If you would like to be part of a protest in support of closing Guantánamo Bay, there is a website called www.witnesstorture.org where you can sign up to be part of a special human chain between the White House and the Capitol in protest of the 10th anniversary of the Guantánamo prison.

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