United States: Obama's ongoing war of terror

November 20, 2009

The Guantanamo Bay prison camp is still open and conditions inside it are reportedly worse than before US President Barack Obama took office. It has been reported that the camp will not be closed by the January deadline set by Obama.

Rendition, the US practice of kidnapping someone and transporting them to a third country to be tortured, is still occurring, this time on a "short term transitory basis". The Obama administration has sought to block revealing details of all cases alleging torture and ill-treatment by invoking the "state secrets" privilege. The release of photos crucial to torture claims have also been blocked.

Obama has also decided to "look forward" rather than seek to hold any of the Bush administration to account for their complicity in heinous acts of cruelty and barbarity amounting to war crimes.

Obama's administration has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate claims of abuse by a small number of CIA officials. However, the scope is severely limited and will not touch the high-ranking officials who sanctioned the torture of thousands.

The US-run Bagram prison camp in Afghanistan is being expanded. Conditions in at are appalling and the Obama administration continues to argue that detainees have no rights at all.

And then there are the disappeared: the thousands who remain unaccounted for, who were snatched from their families and taken to secret prisons where they have been held for years. These include the wives and children of men held in Guantanamo or Bagram.

We hear a lot about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged 'mastermind of September 11, 2001 attacks, but we never of his seven- and nine-year-old children who were kidnapped and held by the CIA.

The recently released report by the CIA inspector general and other recently released memos reveal the two children were subjected to stress positions, denied food and water and taunted with insects. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Change... not by a long shot.

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