Guantanamo on the Mississippi in Thomson, Illinois

By Debra Sweet 

On Tuesday, December 15th, after many months of deliberation and searching the Obama administration announced its plan to transfer under 100 detainees currently held at Guantanamo detention center in Cuba to Thomson Correctional Facility in Thomson, IL.
 
Reports indicate that the detainees transferred will  be tried under military commissions (very similar to the Bush regime trials the world criticized) and 30 to 40 will be detained indefinitely.
 
This move on the part of the Obama administration is intended to be part of Obama's promise to close the US detention facility at Guantanamo, which symbolizes to the world a disgusting and flagrant disregard for human rights.
 
The Center for Constitutional Rights issued a statement: " The Obama administration has already cleared for release at least 116 of the 210 men who remain at Guantánamo. Many of them have nowhere to go because they are from countries that routinely engage in torture and other human rights abuses. Will they now be subject to inhuman conditions of solitary confinement in a maximum security facility despite the fact that they will never be charged with anything and have been approved for release? For them Thomson, Illinois may be worse than Guantánamo..."
 
Guantanamo is a legal black hole where many men have been detaineed for years with no charges. Closing Guantanamo to show the world that you respect human rights only to open another legal abyss here in this country turns reality on its head.
 
The righteous demand that detainees be given habeas corpus rights or released is not just about American values, it is about valuing the lives and rights of all of humanity.
 
The people of conscience in this country must demand that the detainees be tried in with the full right of habeas corpus or be released. World Can't Wait will be paying attention as this develops, working with other groups to protest indefinite detention carried out in our name, no matter what the location.

 
Thursday, the War Resisters League & World Can't Wait walked from the UN to Times Square with coffins, commemorating the civilians killed in the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.
 
Some responses to the strange contradiction of expanding war and winning peace prizes:
 
Ken Theisen, Obama in Oslo: War is Peace. Lies are Truth.
 
Glenn Greenwald wrote in The strange consensus on Obama's Nobel address of the dangers of the speech: "the odd, extremely bipartisan reaction to it underscored one of the real dangers of the Obama presidency: taking what had been ideas previously discredited as Republican or right-wing dogma and transforming them into bipartisan consensus.  It's not just Republicans but Democrats that are now vested in -- and eager to justify -- the virtues of war, claims of Grave Danger posed by Islamic radicals and the need to use massive military force to combat them, indefinite detention, military commissions, extreme secrecy, full-scale immunity forgovernment lawbreaking, and so many other doctrines once purportedly despised by Democrats but now defended by them because their leader has embraced them."
 
Saturday, EndUSWars.org sponsored a rally across from the White House in response to the escalation of troops to Afghanistan.  Chris Hedges, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, David Swanson, Matthis Chiroux, Elaine Brower and many others spoke. You can hear me wailing against the war.

 
Check out my new blog, and send me your ideas for it.
 
Debra Sweet Director, The World Can't Wait.