Friday, 26 September 2008


From Robert Fisk's interview with Sami al-Haj, an Al Jazeera cameraman brutalised for six years in the name of the 'War on Terror,' inspite of no-one ever thinking he was a terrorist:

[al-Haj] was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years – repeatedly beaten and force-fed – not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. From the moment Sami al-Haj arrived at Guantanamo, flown there from the brutal US prison camp at Kandahar, his captors demanded that he work for them. The cruelty visited upon him – constantly interrupted by American admissions of his innocence – seemed designed to turnal-Haj into a US intelligence "asset".


He still cannot believe that he is free, able to attend a conference in Norway, to return to his new job as news producer at Al Jazeera, to live once more with his Azeri wife Asma and their eight-year old son Mohamed; when Sami al-Haj disappeared down the black hole of America's secret prisons the boy was only 14 months' old. (1)
Six years in captivity, beatings, interrogations, renditions, a 480 hunger strike in protest at the denial of his human rights, interrupted by monthly force-feeding sessions, which have left a 38 year old man limping and walking with a stick.

His current age, incidentally, indicates he would have been thirty-two when he was abducted. When I was that agemy first son would have been slightly younger than Mohamed - I can't imagine the anguish being seperated from him would have caused.

British Intelligence are implicated in this (not for the first time (2)), which once again shows how the sick violations of hman dignty aren't limited to the USA. Britain - and by extension all the USA's allies - are implicated in this behaviour. Which is why we are hated, and why the terrorist scum masterminds that want to attack us are always going to find more recruits for their evil.

On the 12th of September, 2001, American commentator Ward Churchill earned himself hatred and abuse by suggesting that the victims of September 11th weren't 'innocent' as they had tacitly colluded in the crimes of their governments. They had been in a position to act against it, but had abnegated that responsibility in favour of quiescence. We tried to ignore his message then, understandably perhaps in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity of the day before. But we are still ignoring it, still claiming we are somehow morally not imbrued by the acts which our - ours, because we have voted for them and supported them - governments carry out.

1 - "Six years in Guantanamo" by Robert Fisk, published in The Independent, 25th of September, 2008. (
2 - As described previously on lefthandpalm:
3 - "Some People Push Back," by Ward Churchill, published on the 12th of September, 2001. Reproduced on, with further commentary by Churchill and others. (

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