If Guantanamo Bay is the cancer is Obama the cure?

07Feb09

Guantanamo GatesA crucial aspect of cancer care is to determine whether it has spread (metastasized) and if so how far, since any surgical removal would generally be considered of dubious benefit, if the original tumour has metastasized.

Naturally the crucial question is whether Guantanamo and its malignancy has already spread, rendering Obama’s proposals laudable but futile. Cageprisoners, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Center Human Rights & Global Justice and Reprieve, recently sent a letter to President Obama applauding his efforts but urging caution; our collective experiences whilst campaigning against detention without trial, upholding the rule of law and respecting international conventions, has made us aware that Guantanamo was only the iconic face of abuses in the global War on Terror.

Soon after its inception in January 2002, numerous prisons were established on the same principle of holding and interrogating terrorist suspects. Evidence of this early spread is apparent when one of the early camp commandants at Guantanamo Maj Gen Geoffrey Miller had been sent to Abu Ghraib to “guantanomize” it.

However the most pernicious aspect of Guantanamo is that the mindset engendered by its architects and supporters has spread globally and contaminated the political, legal and public domains which will require a far greater effort in redressing the violations committed by the Bush administration.

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