Guantanamo Bay

Since 2002, a small part of the United States military base at Guantanamo Bay has been used to hold prisoners; the detainment exists in a legal grey area that places the prisoners outside of the jurisdiction of the Federal court system. The executive branch maintains that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are not granted the protections recognized by the United States Bill of rights; this is a position that is not known to be confirmed by any Supreme Court decision.

The detainees are not considered prisoners of war and are not treated as common criminals giving them an unclear legal status. While these people have been held outside of the scope of all known legal systems a pattern of systemic abuse is starting to show. A recent Army report details some of the interrogation practices used at Guantanamo Bay; the report listed a number of torturous interrogation techniques, including:

Short shackling

Short shackling is when a person has their hands bound to an eyebolt in the floor, forcing them to either squat or lie in a fetal position.

Hypothermia

The medical definition of hypothermia is a core body temperature of 95 degrees or less.

 

  • Finding #4: On numerous occasions between July 2002 and October 2004, detainees were yelled at or subjected to loud music during interrogation. This includes subjects being left alone in the interrogation booth for an indefinite period of time while loud music played and strobe lights flashed.
  • Finding #8: On at least two occasions between February 2002 and February 2003, two detainees were “short shackled” to the eye-bolt on the floor in the interrogation room.
  • Finding #14: On several occasions between November 2002 and January 2003 interrogators would adjust the air conditioner to make the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan uncomfortable. This includes inducing a body temperature between 95 and 97 degrees twice.
  • Finding #15: From 23 Nov 02 to 16 Jan 03, the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan was interrogated for 18-20 hours per day for 48 of the 54 days, with the opportunity for a minimum of four hours rest per day.
  • Finding #16e: On 20 Dec 02, an interrogator tied a leash to the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan’s chains, led him around the room, and forced him to perform a series of dog tricks.
  • Finding #16f: On 20 Dec 02, an interrogator forced the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan to dance with a male interrogator.
  • Finding #16g: On several occasions in Dec 02, the subject of the first Special Interrogation Plan was subject to strip searches. These searches, conducted by the prison guards during interrogation, were done as a control measure on direction of the interrogators.

Fourth Geneva Convention

Why does the Bush Administration ignore the Fourth Geneva Convention which deals specifically with civilians in armed conflicts?

Supporters of the detention argue that constitutional rights have never been afforded for prisoners of war or non-U.S. citizens. This line of argument ignores the U.S. ratification of international treaties that ban torture or the shipping of prisoners to countries where they will be tortured. The Bush administration argues that the Third Geneva Convention does not apply to perceived Al Quaeda or Taliban fighters. This argument ignores the Fourth Geneva Convention which deals explicitly with civilians. Critics of U.S. policy say the government has violated the Conventions in attempting to create a distinction between ‘prisoners of war’ and ‘illegal combatants’.

More information

Confirmed torture

A military investigation confirms the use of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Portland, Oregon Protest

A protest is being organized at Pioneer Courthouse Square (pictured right) in downtown Portland, Oregon. The protest is tentatively scheduled for November fourth or fifth of 2006 for maximum awareness immediately before the midterm elections. After the protest is completed more protests around the United States will be organized for the 2008 Presidential elections.

The point of the protests are to raise awareness to the acts that are going on. The protest will bring the actions of the United States Federal government to light by having displays in highly public areas. The displays will include:

  • The use of an industrial bubble blowing machine to attract people from the street.
  • Recreating as best as possible the interrogation techniques as documented in Army Regulation 15-6: Final Report. This includes:
    • Finding #4: Loud music and strobe lights in a booth
    • Finding #8: short shackling
    • Finding #11a: military dog barking and showing teeth
    • Finding #14: climate control used to lower body temp to 95 degrees
    • Finding #16e: dog leash used to lead person around room and forced to perform dog tricks
    • Finding #16g: strip searching used as punishment
  • Enlarged photographs of the known prisoner abuse.
  • Signs calling for Congress to take control of the executive branch of the United States Federal Government and give all prisoners at Guantanamo Bay the benefit of full legal proceedings.
  • Signs calling for the end of extraordinary rendition as well as take all steps necessary to stop the other uses of torture.
  • Have people on hand to explain what has happened to those who are skeptical.
  • Pre addressed letters to Congressional Representatives for the local areas that people simply have to write their name on, stamp, and mail.

The protest is designed to give people on the street a feel for what it is like to undergo the interrogation techniques that our military is using. It will also provide a solution to the problem that it is bringing light to; the facts are that as Americans we do not need the government to perform these actions. We must not condone these actions and must speak out against them. The rest of the world should hear that not all Americans want our government to behave in this way.

 

Fund status

 

Total raised $ 113.65
- total expenses $ 49.90
total available $ 63.75
- current budget $ 3675.95
funds needed $ 3612.20

Make a donation

Donations are being accepted now; you can help make the protest happen.

Budget

This is the best estimate for the protest budget with the information available. The safety margin listed is for liability incurred as a requirement for the use of the land and to secure additional emergency resources on protest day. All remaining funds will be used according to the organizational plan.

Portland, Oregon protest budget $3675.95
Pioneer Courthouse Square (includes 15% mandatory coordination fee) $2130.95
Application fee $51.75
Rental fee at rate 2 $400.20
Fixed fees $1679.00
Electrical $132.25
Water $69.00
Garbage $97.75
Pressure washing (possible waiver) $1380.00
Mandatory insurance policy (estimate) $500.00
Equipment $45.00
Bubble machine $15.00
Bubble juice $10.00
Strobe light (estimate) $20.00
Materials $300.00
Protest signs and fliers (estimate) $200.00
Set construction (estimate) $100.00
Safety margin $700.00
Liability $500.00
Incidentals $200.00

Abu Ghraib Slide Show

Warning

This slideshow contains graphic photographs of violence and nudity; viewing by children or those who are sensitive to blood is not recommended.

You’re Wrong!

Think we are wrong? Let us know; all comments are welcome.

Donate

It’s easy and you can use a credit card or paypal account.

Help Wanted

Can you write well, debate, or spread the word? Join us and start making change today.

Your Cause Here

We would like to give away some of our available space to another worthy cause. If you know of such a cause then please let us know.

No More Torture

Trouble playing the movie? Get help.

Help

The file is an MPEG4 and is known to work with the most recent version of Apple QuickTime, VLC, and MPlayer. If the movie does not work in your browser then check this list for things to fix:

  • You need the newest version of the Apple QuickTime Player.
  • You must have javascript enabled in your browser to view the movie in this window. If you do not want javascript enabled then you can click here to download the movie.
  • In the absence of anything else, VLC is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix.