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John Bellinger, who was responsible for drafting the legal framework for targeted drone killings while working for George W Bush after 9/11, said he believed their use had increased since because President Obama was unwilling to deal with the consequences of jailing suspected al-Qaida members.
"This government has decided that instead of detaining members of al-Qaida [at Guantánamo] they are going to kill them," he told a conference at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Force feeding hunger strikers in Guantánamo Bay is against international medical standards and should be stopped, according to a group of senior UN officials.
The declaration has been published in response to the hunger strike that started in February and involves up to 100 detainees. At least 21 are being forcibly fed.
"Under these principles, it is unjustifiable to engage in forced feeding of individuals contrary to their informed and voluntary refusal of such a measure. Moreover, hunger strikers should be protected from all forms of coercion, even more so when this is done through force and in some cases through physical violence.
"Healthcare personnel may not apply undue pressure of any sort on individuals who have opted for the extreme recourse of a hunger strike. Nor is it acceptable to use threats of forced feeding or other types of physical or psychological coercion against individuals who have voluntarily decided to go on a hunger strike."
The statement is signed by El Hadji Malick Sow, chair of the UN working group on arbitrary detention; Juan E Méndez, UN special rapporteur on torture; Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, and Anand Grover, UN special rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. It is supported by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
"Remember that Obama himself has imposed a moratorium on repatriating people to Yemen. And Obama himself has insisted that nearly 50 detainees cannot either be tried or transferred. True, he would hold such people in a domestic facility, rather than at Guantanamo Bay. But so what? Does the President not understand when he frets about 'the notion that we're going to continue to keep over 100 individuals in a no-man's land in perpetuity' that if Congress let him do exactly as he wished, he would still be doing exactly that -- except that the number might not reach 100 and the location would not be at Guantanamo?"
What made Guantanamo such a travesty -- and what still makes it such -- is that it is a system of indefinite detention whereby human beings are put in cages for years and years without ever being charged with a crime. President Obama's so-called "plan to close Guantanamo" -- even if it had been approved in full by Congress -- did not seek to end that core injustice. It sought to do the opposite: Obama's plan would have continued the system of indefinite detention, but simply re-located it from Guantanamo Bay onto American soil.
When the President finally unveiled his plan for "closing Guantanamo," it became clear that it wasn't a plan to "close" the camp as much as it was a plan simply to re-locate it -- import it -- onto American soil, at a newly purchased federal prison in Thompson, Illinois. William Lynn, Obama's Deputy Defense Secretary, sent a letter to inquiring Senators that expressly stated that the Obama administration intended to continue indefinitely to imprison some of the detainees with no charges of any kind.
Here's Maureen Dowd in her latest New York Times column:
Asked about the hunger strike, the former constitutional law professor in the White House expressed the proper moral outrage at holding so many men "in no-man's land in perpetuity." But it sounded as though he didn't fully understand his own policy. Closing Guantánamo doesn't address the fundamental problem of rights. Obama's solution, blocked by Congress, is to move the hornet's nest to a Supermax prison in Illinois -- dubbed "Gitmo North" -- and keep holding men as POWs in a war that has no end. They're not hunger-striking for a change in scenery.
It's true that Congress put restrictions on transfers of individuals to other countries with bad security situations. But, since 2012, Congress has granted authority to the secretary of defense to waive those restrictions on a case-by-case basis. The administration hasn't made use of that power once. So it's a little stale to blame Congress at this point.
Originally posted by yuppa
I have a solution release them with explosive collars on them. These collars have microphones and pulse monitors and cameras. Part of their release is they have to wear these and allow monotiring until they die. If they break a law or attack anyone boom off goes the head.
We know that Obama wants to close Guantanamo.
He hates it so much that he would rather kill people than put them in Guantanamo.