Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Treatment of prisoners

In "My Guantanamo Hunger Strike Hell," Shaker Aamer describes the conditions he experiences as a Guantanamo detainee.  Some excerpts:
They started by taking my medical things. I had an extra blanket to lessen my rheumatism, but that was soon gone. My backbrace went at the same time. The pressure socks I had to keep the build-up of water down did not last long. Then they came for my toothbrush. Next, my sheet was taken, along with my shoes. My legal documents vanished soon after, leaving me only my kids’ drawings on the wall. They were the last to go. And now I am left alone. Since 8am Monday, April 15, I have had nothing, not even my flip-flops....some 22-stone soldier puts his knees on my back while the others pin my arms and legs to the floor, and they leave me a plastic bottle. You’re allowed only one bottle at a time, as having two is somehow a threat to US national security. That means from morning until night, I have nothing to drink unless I conserve it carefully.  
I just don't understand how it is that we allow this to happen.  I don't understand how they can take my money (they call it taxes) and use my money to fund this.

I don't understand why people think this is a good thing to do.  I mean, if a person does something to harm others, we put that person in prison.  I understand that we might want to put them in a prison as a way of keeping others safe.  But once prison takes the person out of society, how does it help anything to do violence to them? Is our goal to teach them to hate us? Is our goal to teach them that violence is the only way to gain power?  Wouldn't you think our goal would be that after they get out of prison, they not hurt people? And wouldn't you think that the way to bring that about would be to give them respect, kindness, and knowledge?

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