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Old 04-08-2006, 04:37 PM   #1
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US Neocon Brainwashing Torture Gulag

Has transformed these once independent minded young boys into BushBots
Cuba? It was great, say boys freed from US prison camp

James Astill meets teenagers released from Guantanamo Bay who recall the place fondly

Saturday March 6, 2004
The Guardian

Asadullah strives to make his point, switching to English lest there be any mistaking him. "I am lucky I went there, and now I miss it. Cuba was great," said the 14-year-old, knotting his brow in the effort to make sure he is understood.

Not that Asadullah saw much of the Caribbean island. During his 14-month stay, he went to the beach only a couple of times - a shame, as he loved to snorkel. And though he learned a few words of Spanish, Asadullah had zero contact with the locals.

He spent a typical day watching movies, going to class and playing football. He was fascinated to learn about the solar system, and now enjoys reciting the names of the planets, starting with Earth. Less diverting were the twice-monthly interrogations about his knowledge of al-Qaida and the Taliban. But, as Asadullah's answer was always the same - "I don't know anything about these people" - these sessions were merely a bore: an inevitably tedious consequence, Asadullah suggests with a shrug, of being held captive in Guantanamo Bay.

On January 29, Asadullah and two other juvenile prisoners were returned home to Afghanistan. The three boys are not sure of their ages. But, according to the estimate of the Red Cross, Asadullah is the youngest, aged 12 at the time of his arrest. The second youngest, Naqibullah, was arrested with him, aged perhaps 13, while the third boy, Mohammed Ismail, was a child at the time of his separate arrest, but probably isn't now.

Tracked down to his remote village in south-eastern Afghanistan, Naqibullah has memories of Guantanamo that are almost identical to Asadullah's. Prison life was good, he said shyly, nervous to be receiving a foreigner to his family's mud-fortress home.

The food in the camp was delicious, the teaching was excellent, and his warders were kind. "Americans are good people, they were always friendly, I don't have anything against them," he said. "If my father didn't need me, I would want to live in America."

Asadullah is even more sure of this. "Americans are great people, better than anyone else," he said, when found at his elder brother's tiny fruit and nut shop in a muddy backstreet of Kabul. "Americans are polite and friendly when you speak to them. They are not rude like Afghans. If I could be anywhere, I would be in America. I would like to be a doctor, an engineer _ or an American soldier."

This might seem to jar with the prevailing opinion of Guantanamo among human rights groups. An American jail on foreign soil, Guantanamo was designed, according to Amnesty International, to deny prisoners "many of their most basic rights", which in America would include special provision for the "speedy trial" of juveniles. But, seized in the remotest wilds of violent Afghanistan, the boys knew practically nothing of their rights, and expected less.

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Old 04-08-2006, 04:59 PM   #2
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If it weren't for the American public's bloodlust, this should probably be the approach to most of our prisoners: "killing them" with kindness, education, and structure. Mistreatment and punishment merely makes them more vengeful than before.

I imagine, however, that this environment was only reserved for the teenage prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


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Old 04-08-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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Posting articles from 2 years' ago.
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