T Nation

Guantanomo a Torture Camp


U.N. Calls Guantanamo a U.S. Torture Camp


GENEVA (AP) - The United States must close its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay because it is effectively a torture camp where prisoners have no access to justice, a U.N. report released Thursday concluded.

The White House rejected the recommendation.

The 54-page report summarizing an investigation by five U.N. experts accused the United States of practices that "amount to torture" and demanded detainees be allowed a fair trial or freed. The investigators did not visit the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"Those people should be released or brought before an independent court," Manfred Nowak, the U.N. investigator for torture, told The Associated Press. "That should not be done in Guantanamo Bay, but before ordinary U.S. courts, or courts in their countries of origin or perhaps an international tribunal."

The United States should allow "a full and independent investigation" at Guantanamo and also give the United Nations access to other detention centers, including secret ones, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Nowak said by telephone from his office in Vienna, Austria.

"We want to have all information about secret places of detention because whenever there is a secret place of detention, there is also a higher risk that people are subjected to torture," he said.

The United States is holding about 490 men at the military detention center. They are accused of links to Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime or to al-Qaida, but only a handful have been charged.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan rejected the call to shut the camp, saying the military treats all detainees humanely and "these are dangerous terrorists that we're talking about."

The U.N. investigators said photographic evidence - corroborated by testimony of former prisoners - showed detainees shackled, chained and hooded. Prisoners were beaten, stripped and shaved if they resisted, they said.

The report's findings were based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and questions answered by the U.S. government, which detailed the number of prisoners held but did not give their names or the status of charges against them.

Some of the interrogation techniques - particularly the use of dogs, exposure to extreme temperatures, sleep deprivation and prolonged isolation - caused extreme suffering.

"Such treatment amounts to torture, as it inflicts severe pain or suffering on the victims for the purpose of intimidation and/or punishment," the report said.

The U.N. experts who wrote the report had sought access to Guantanamo Bay since 2002. Three were invited last year, but refused in November after being told they could not interview detainees.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the U.N. report "clearly suffers from their unwillingness to take us up on our offer to go down to Guantanamo to observe first-hand the operations."

The International Committee of the Red Cross is the only independent monitoring body allowed to visit Guantanamo's detainees, but it reports its findings solely to U.S. authorities.

Legislators and journalists have been allowed in on guided tours but few are permitted to see interrogations.

The U.S. ambassador to U.N. offices in Geneva, Kevin Moley, wrote in a response that the investigation had taken little account of evidence provided by the United States.

"We categorically object to most of the unedited report's content and conclusions as largely without merit and not based clearly in the facts," Moley said.

Although his statement did not address specific allegations, the Pentagon has acknowledged 10 cases of abuse or mistreatment at Guantanamo, including a female interrogator climbing onto a detainee's lap and a detainee whose knees were bruised from being forced to kneel repeatedly.

In Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament condemned the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo and renewed its calls for the detention center to be closed.

Human rights activists also supported the investigators' findings.

Amnesty International said the report was only the "tip of the iceberg."

"The United States also operates detention facilities at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq and has been implicated in the use of secret detention facilities in other countries," an Amnesty statement said.

Many of the allegations in the report have been made before. But the document represented the first inquiry launched by the 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission, the world body's top rights watchdog.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric stressed it was compiled by independent experts. Asked whether Secretary General Kofi Annan endorsed the panel's findings, Dujarric said: "The secretary-general has often said, and repeatedly said, that there is a need for proper understanding and effective balance between action against terrorism and the protection of civil liberties and human rights."


This is what America is about...detention without trial, without justice, and without human rights?


Manfred Nowak is, um, an average Austrian bureaucrat with an average Austrian education who just happens to be the UN whatthefuckever of torture.

If you think US journalists are asking hard questions or do not bow down to authority.... aahh, what the hell, just enjoy it as it unfolds...


I think the UN should stop preaching to people and clean up their own act.

IMO - They are just trying to become relevant again after years of doing fuck all and overseeing some of the largest atrocities and distasters the world.

They seem to love taking potshots at some western countries and dont say boo about African or middle eastern countries or some of the looney European countries.


Okay I'm mad now...




(There can we end the thread now?)


Read up on Nowak. He said boo to pretty much everone. People you would not say boo to. He is not exactly bad-ass he is just so fucking polite and consistent, it is hard to ignore him.


Every nation has secret places of detention; if one were to have to be thrown into a place of detention they should wish it was run by the US.

Anyone who wants to know where our secret "anything" is should be told to go fuck themselves... top of the world for a reason and it's not disclosure.


The U.N. investigators said photographic evidence - corroborated by testimony of former prisoners - showed detainees shackled, chained and hooded. Prisoners were beaten, stripped and shaved if they resisted, they said.

Doesn't this sort of thing happen in every prison ever?

Prisoners being shackled and chained? Duh.

Prisoners being beaten IF THEY RESIST?

This means if the prisoners get physical with the guards, the guards kick their ass. Big deal.

Stripped and shaved? Never heard of a body cavity search?

This hardly means it is a "Torture Camp."


We already knew that conditions werent the best down there so why is the UN wasting its resources to state the obvious?

Cant they focus more on global poverty, pollution and such?


The UN should be doing what it does best: fundraising and child rape.


That may or may not be a worthy interpretation.

Maybe you should be a little more thoughtful about what these things might mean. You are ALWAYS assuming the best, which means you are probably wrong as often as those ALWAYS assuming the worst.



Perhaps we should start a thread with the following title:

Why Does Fighting Irish and His Cohorts Hate Their Country?

As our former great U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick said a long while ago about you ultra-left wing Socialist Liberals:


Well, I say to you:

God bless our President George W. Bush and may God bless the United States of America!

Thank you to all of the troops on the field in all foregin fields. There are those of us who appreciate you and support the mission that you are on.

God bless the troops!


Who else would you blame for Abu Ghraib? France? Are you so blinded by partisan politics that you cannot admit that Abu Ghraib was a disgrace to our country? Supporting the troops does not mean supporting the actions of Charles Grainer, Lindsey England, and the other Abu Ghraibers. When Bush criticizes Abu Ghraib (however he chooses to pronounce it), is he part of the Blame America First Crowd? Does Bush hate this country? You can love your country, but not always love our leaders, or the actions taken by those who respresent this country.



What are you "denseO"

Here is the title of this thread:

U.N. Calls Guantanamo a U.S. Torture Camp

Of course I don't support what a FEW INDIVIDUALS did at that prison in Iraq.

However, Irish said in his original post:

"This is what America is about...detention without trial, without justice, and without human rights?"

He was talking about the detaining of suspected Al Quaida terrorists -- you know the kind that killed thousands of people in 2001? These are not choir boys, you know.

So don't bring up that Abu Garib B.S. -- we are not talking about that. I am talking about someone that is bashing his country in a time of war blaming America first!

That is not the American Way!


Free thinking isn't your forte huh?

Its cause and effect brother. People don't get pissed at you if you don't start shit first. South America wouldn't be electing all leftist governments if we didn't fuck with them for the last 20 years.

The Muslims wouldn't be pissed if we didn't steal land and make Israel.

Agree or disagree, these are conflicts we have started. And these are conflicts that my buddies are fighting- my generation, not yours. Fighting for the age old greed, power, and wealth. Stick your head in the sand and pray with all your might. That doesn't change the world around you. Although I suspect you're too old, too conservative, and too comfortable to realize that.


I actually got my threads mixed up...my fault.


We should place all you liberal terrorist sensitive aholes with them. You all seem to be so worried of their plight. Did you miss all the crap that has gone on since 9/11? The killing, burning, dragging and hanging of the 4 private security personel. I guess you did not see the celebration that took place as 2 of them hung from a bridge. Men,women and children seemed to be partying as if the won the powerball lottery. I guess that was okay because they were U.S. Citizens. The cutting off of U.S. Citizen heads.I guess that is okay too. I guess all the crap our soldiers are going through is no big deal to you either, heaven forbid they defend themselves. The list could go on.
So now they get to use our legal system and of course some U.S. Lawyers are going to plead their case in our courts. This is disgusting and an insult to every man or woman who served this country in the past and serves it now.

Study history to see how P.O.W.s were treated...how about the Bataan Death march.
The treatment these alleged terrorist were getting in GITMO,they should be so lucky that it was the U.S. and that it was so mild in relationship to what it could have been.

Maybe you liberals should go over there and hang out with some of the terrorists or extremists and see how nicely they would treat you. You might come back with a different attitude or maybe just without your head.

Before you all jump on the band wagon about me hating Iraqi's or whatever. I truly believe that at least 60-70% of them, probably more, are no different than us. They just want to get along with their lives and not have to deal with all this crap, get us out of their country, and try to enjoy a normal life. The extremists are the ones who are the problem and unfortunately we all suffer, some more than others due to them.

I am sure the liberals would just reason all this out with them. You all think you are so intellectual.

My best to all who serve and have served. I keep good thoughts for you all.


GENEVA (AP) - The United States must close its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay because it is effectively a torture camp where prisoners have no access to justice, a U.N. report released Thursday concluded.

Jack Bauer will never let it happen.


Well, al least some of them are completly innocent, therefore an independent investigation is necessary.


America has invaded more countries in its existance than the rest of the worlds countries combined.

Republicans and Democrats were created for a reason.

Republicans were put here by God to do this: make life hard on everybody and shit all over the world.

Democrats were put here by God for this: to complain about having to clean the shit up all over the world.

Its just a test to see who wins. Even God likes to have fun with a sense of humor.

...for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

...its just science fellas, let it go.


Man you americans have some stupid pride.
Just close this mess as a gesture of good will - and reopen it secretly in Alaska.

It's just a gesture!

Personally, I believe it's not worse than, say, a russian detention camp in Chechnya. Or a chinese gulag. Or a North Korean orphanage. But you are the US - there goes a special responsibility with that.