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Bay Concentration Camp
Closure of the torture facility and release of victims. Reparations and recompense for those mistreated. See Amnesty International
Please note that this page refers to past atrocities committed by a previous government of the United States. The Citizens of the United States are not to blame. People Don't Vote For Politicians. Also, just because a country used to have a bad regime in the PAST it does not mean that the present-day United States and/or its people are to blame. The USA went through a bad patch, and now that's over. In a way it's like Germany, which went through a bad patch in the late 1930s. The folk weren't to blame. We move on to a more optimistic future!
At the end of the Second World War, with the defeat of Nazi Germany, it was believed and hoped that concentration camps would never exist again. The civilised countries of the world signed treaties such as the Geneva Convention, in which they agreed never to mistreat prisoners of war, and this was all a matter of fact of the way the world worked, for many decades.
Unfortunately, this noble and well-meaning principle fell victim to the "war on terror" which was an appalling excuse to ignore human rights, during a particularly nasty period in the late 20th Century (and early 21st) when various extremist religious leaders got into power in the USA and the UK. As with the Nazis in 1930s Germany, it was difficult to say anything against them for fear of victimisation, and the world continued to fall into an evil conspiracy of silence. This piece of history repeated in the years of George Warmonger Bush, but whereas Adolf Hitler victimised Jewish people, gay people, gypsies, and mad people, George Dubb'ya tried to fight against a perceived threat in the form of Islam and various Islamic countries who wouldn't bow down in homage to him. The result was, predictably, war, with the USA engaging in futile wars against various places. Note that these were not the places where the terrorists came from, like Saudi Arabia. Instead, a variety of easy-to-blame places were targeted and invaded.
The procedure for capturing prisoners of war was, to say the least, haphazard. In effect, the USA offered a reward in cash dollars to anyone who handed in any other person as "a terrorist". It didn't take long for the locals to catch a few people they had quarrelled with last week and hand them in to claim the bounty. This looked very good on the USA statistics, with a great many supposed "terrorists" being hauled away. They were taxi drivers, businessmen, camel herders, teachers, just folk who happened to be in the wrong place and happened to rub someone up the wrong way enough locally to get them sold into slavery, sold to the Americans, for a few dollars.
The collection of prisoners grew, and after a stint of "extraordinary rendition" they were stored in a manner amounting to "cruel and unusual punishment" in a concentration camp which had been cunningly built in a territory which was supposed to be exempt from the principles of human rights. Hence: Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp. This, and the Bagram Torture Facility, and other human rights abuses, has brought the governments of the previously "civilised" world into a questionable state of being in collusion with the bad guys.
Fortunately, time has moved on, and the evil rulers of the USA and the UK at the time have been deposed, and replaced by more moderate people. Although not as spectacular an end to tyranny as the defeat of Adolf Hitler where he was overthrown and shot himself, the falling of the more recent tyranny is still significant. However, as with the situation after the defeat of National Socialism, there is a huge amount of cleaning up to do.
After the Second World War, Nazi concentration camps were taken over by the Allies, and the prisoners were released. It was not easy, as many of them had suffered so badly it was difficult for them to recover. Also, war criminals of the old regime were put on trial at Nuremberg. Maybe some of the war criminals of recent times could be put on trial too?
The more recent problem began to be solved when President Barack Obama took over control of the United States. He is a well-liked character, and good luck to him! However, a Nobel Prize for Barack Obama so early? It is embarrassing. However on the good side, one of the early things he did in his presidency is to call for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp. Well, of course! That is the right thing to do! However, it's got to be done properly. Has it been done yet?
It's not enough just to release all of the victims and to give them a free ticket to anywhere that'll have them. (Many countries will be glad to have them, for obvious reasons, as they are newsworthy celebrities!). What's needed is proper reparations. It's not a matter of money. It's a matter of undoing the damage that's been done by the prolonged psychological torture. Also, in the same sort of way that holocaust-denial is disallowed, there needs to be a way of having the evils put into recorded history. It is almost the Anne_Frank solution (Also see The Anne Frank Museum). In the interests of Freedom of Speech, and of reparations to the victims of the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp, all of the victims should be given the opportunity to tell their stories on their own websites. This would be very therapeutic, as well as being a way to make sure the world doesn't forget the war crimes. Also see How to Set up Your Own Website
Having your own website and telling your own story is an important part of international freedom of speech.
It's started! Previous inmates of Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp speak out via their own websites...
It would be very hard for the United States to apologise enough to the victims of the "war on terror", but a good start would be to release the prisoners and give them each the free opportunity to write of their ordeals on their own websites. The material made public knowledge would do more good than putting their oppressors, the war criminals, on trial at Nuremberg, although that might help too.
Stopping evil from getting into power again is another important consideration. It's not enough just voting and hoping the results won't end up being a problem. People don't vote for politicians. Also, many political leaders aren't even there because of election, but because they have got power by their predecessors being elected a while back, and even then it was only because they were "the lesser of the evils" among the limited choices on offer.
Instead, what's needed is a distributed online power that can overthrow any evil government at source before they have a chance to do much damage. In effect, as soon as the misuse of power begins, people start undermining the system and it collapses. Effectively, it doesn't even require revolution to achieve this effect. It's more a matter of being able to express a vote of no confidence in whatever government has become the problem, and then it is brought down soon.
This kind of thing works on the domestic level, but it also works globally. If we all pulled the plug on Saudi Arabia and stopped buying oil, that country would return to being desert. If prohibition was ended and personal drug-use legalised globally, there would no longer be any drug barons in business, in various countries. And, if people stopped over-reacting to "terrorism", and instead just ignored the threat, like the way people in Britain did in the war when bombs were falling, there'd be almost no point in the terrorism. It's something that only exists in its present form because people believe in it.
History should never forget the human rights abuses in the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp, the Bagram Torture Facility, and other problems. The reason for remembering is to avoid history repeating. There's no point in holding a grudge against the United States now their act is starting to be cleaned up. Germany has been forgiven for atrocities of the past, and the USA will also be forgiven, but a keen watch has to be kept to make sure the lessons of history are learned and the mistakes not repeated. In both cases it wasn't the people who were to blame. It was bad governments.
Some day when the newly liberated Capitalist Cuba welcomes paying tourists to visit the derelict remains of the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp, the bad times when the USA was the most feared country in the world will be considered like the threat of the old Third Reich, part of history.
Please note, for the avoidance of any doubt, that this page is not criticising the present-day United States, its government, or its people. We get on well with folk, and we know from history that various countries have gone through embarrassing bad times in their histories. To err is human, but to learn from previous errs is wise-human.
Update. Situation pending. The failure of the USA to make proper reparations in a timely manner following the imagined change of leadership has left the country at risk of becoming an ongoing pariah-state. The situation took a turn for the worse after the persecution and martyrdom of Julian Assange of Wikileaks.
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/11/guantanamo-bay-moazzam-begg - broken promise
Amnesty International and Red Cross
And now, The Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History which exists in a parallel world where politicians kept their promises.