News Release

Failed Gitmo Policy; Is Torture Over? Was it Tool for War?


CbmALb4VIAEAhltJOSIE SETZLER, josiesetzler at, @WitnessTorture
Setzler is with the group Witness Against Torture. She said today: “Obama’s plan for closing the prison at Guantanamo, which includes indefinite detention without charge or trial, is a monument to the pathetic failure of his policy. Any plan to further detain these men in the U.S. is unacceptable. Every detainee not yet cleared must be tried fairly in federal court or released.

“For years the administration barely even tried to close the prison. All the while, men detained there suffered physical and psychological abuse, including by forced-feeding. Right wing demagogues repeated the vicious lie that all the prisoners are ‘worst of the worst,’ and erected legislative barriers to closing Guantanamo. Now, pundits are declaring the president’s plan as ‘dead on arrival.’ The lives of men kidnapped and tortured by the United States continue to be sacrificed to cynical, domestic politics. Witness Against Torture will continue to work towards the day when this country finally reckons with the disaster of Guantanamo and faces the demands of true justice.”

JEFFREY KAYE, jeffkaye at, @jeff_kaye
Kaye is a clinical psychologist and an independent journalist investigating human rights issues. He said today: “While the politicians play political football with the lives of prisoners at Guantanamo, the abuses and crimes that took place there — indeed may still be taking place — go unremarked and unexamined. For instance, former prisoners claim they were forcefully drugged at the facility. We need an independent investigation of all that has really taken place at DoD detention sites in the ‘war on terror,’ from Guantanamo to Bagram, from Diego Garcia to the Navy brig in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Kaye’s pieces on torture include, “More Charges of Forced Drugging at Guantanamo” and “Contrary to Obama’s promises, the U.S. military still permits torture.”

Kaye has also written extensively about torture being used for “exploitation” — that is, as a method of deriving false but useful information that the government can use as pretext for policy, like torturing detainees into “confessing” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or that Iraq was working with Al Qaeda. See his pieces: “CIA Psychologist’s Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush’s Torture Program” and “‘Guidebook to False Confessions’: Key Document John Yoo Used to Draft Torture Memo Released.”