NOTE: I hesitated perhaps over an hour as to whether or not to post this because there's so much going on of a negative nature that we all become so overwhelmed. Yet until the truth comes out we can't heal and change. What a shame that the US has allowed these horrific travesties to go on so so long! This article's report should go a long way in convincing our citizens, leaders and all who cooperate with such war crimes to develop some manner of NO cooperation! Now, I must post soon some well-defined suggestions to specifically address this report. Perhaps readers here will also suggest some actions?
Morning Star Online dot co dot uk or GO here
Torture victim Omar Deghayes on the US air base dubbed 'Guantanamo Bay's more evil twin'
The US military has allowed journalists into its newly expanded secret detention centre at Bagram air base in Afghanistan this week.
The base has been described by campaigners as Guantanamo Bay's "more evil twin" and the allegations of torture and murder within its secretive walls continue to this day.
The US claims this is proof of its determination to provide greater transparency and openness in its policy of extraordinary rendition and detention without trial.
The claim was somewhat undermined by the fact that the touring journalists had no access to the hundreds of inmates held at the facility.
Omar Deghayes is one man who has personal experience of both Bagram and Guantanamo. He was not impressed by US grandstanding.
He had seen it all before and has strong reason to doubt the announcement of improved conditions at Bagram.
Having suffered hellish torture there himself, he has now discovered that his brother-in-law has been detained at Bagram for the last two months and, if anything, he appears to have been treated even more brutally.
Deghayes was born in Libya in 1969. He was forced to flee the country with his mother and siblings after the torture and murder of his father by the Gadaffi regime.
Arriving in Brighton as a teenager, he went on to study law in Wolverhampton. The family were granted refugee status here in 1987.
In 2002 Deghayes was arrested in Pakistan and was "sold" to the US for a bounty. He was taken first to Bagram and then Guantanamo, where he was imprisoned without trial for five years.
During his time at Guantanamo he was blinded in one eye, which was already damaged since childhood, after guards repeatedly rubbed pepper spray in it.
The only "evidence" against him was a clip from an Islamic propaganda film showing Chechen fighters, one of which the US authorities claimed was him.
It later transpired that the image was not of Deghayes but of an Abu Walid, a Chechan rebel who had been killed some time in 2004.
Deghayes had in fact never been to Chechnya and had always maintained as much.
Speaking to the Morning Star, he gave his opinion on the US press tour of Bagram.
"This is how they manipulate things," he says.
"I have experienced it personally at Guantanamo. They gave guided tours of the camp like it was a tour of the Himalayas or something."
In 2002 a group of congressmen were given a guided tour of "Gitmo," albeit a much sanitised one.
Following his tour of the facility Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe told CNN: "We are giving very good treatment to these people.
"Quite frankly, I personally think better than they deserve. We're dealing with terrorists here."
As if to complete the bizarre theme park atmosphere, each congressman was given a souvenir cap, a Guantanamo flag and a DVD of their visit to take home with them.
Select journalists were also given guided tours, reminiscent of this week's at Bagram.
Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who represented Deghayes and many other Guantanamo prisoners, notes in his invaluable book Bad Men that, for one tour, "there was a show block in camp four ... there was a show interrogation cell in camp five, designed to make solitary confinement look like a private suite."
He goes on to say that "various military personnel were wheeled out for interviews about one humanitarian highlight of the prison or another.
"Whenever an inconvenient question might arise, they could shelter politely behind the barricade of institutional security."
Deghayes agrees. "Those on the tour, the congressmen and reporters were not allowed to meet the prisoners. They were shown all the new facilities and it was like a nice party for them.
"Then they went back and gave glowing reports about how good it all was there," he says.
"It was only when a whistle-blower told the real story that they became aware of what it was really like.
"The Obama administration is just copying the same policy as Bush. It is the same bureaucrats giving the same camouflage and using the same deceptions."
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