Friday, February 9
Camp Delta Detainee Tells Americans Sordid Truth of Guantanamo Torture
Released in 2005 as a result of British diplomatic pressure, Begg co-authored Enemy Combatant, My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar*, published June 2006 in the UK. (The book pictured is the US edition, released by New Press on 11 September 2006.) Begg also became executive director of CagePrisoners.com, an organization that closely tracks and advocates the release of those still incarcerated at Camp Delta.
Last November, Begg discussed his book and imprisonment with students and guests at Massachusetts' Mount Holyoke College via a special teleconference hookup from the UK.
Below is the third of five YouTube clips of his presentation and question-and-answer session with audience members; the 18-minute segment picks up when an ACLU lawyer asks Begg about differences he noted among the Pakistani, British and American officers during his incarceration. His answer with surprise you.
You can watch the four other Mount Holyoke's segments with Begg here. That American media have not given his story the coverage it warrants makes reporters and editors accomplices to the torture the U.S. government inflicted on him.
Apparently, UK civil rights groups opposed to U.S. torture actually believed Bush when he mentioned closing down Guantanamo Bay. But that was before the Pentagon built a $30 million state-of-the-art maximum security prison there last fall. According to Amnesty International's UK campaigns director Tim Hancock, the new prison "appears to make a mockery of President Bush's statements about the need to close down Guantanamo Bay." We Americans understand perfectly the variety of mockery you speak of, Mr. Hancock.
*From a Publishers Weekly "Starred Review" at Amazon.com:
"In a fast-paced, harrowing narrative that's likely to become a flash point for the right and the left, Begg tells of his secret abduction by U.S. forces in Pakistan, his detainment at American air bases for more than a year and at Guantánamo for two more years as an enemy combatant. A British Muslim of Pakistani descent, Begg grew up in Birmingham and excelled at school before becoming involved with Islamic political causes and later moving to Afghanistan to become a teacher. After fighting broke out in Kabul, he and his wife and children moved to Islamabad in 2001, where U.S. operatives seized him. In March 2004, Begg was released from Guantánamo under pressure from the British government, but over the objections of the Pentagon, which still considers him a potential terrorist. Despite considerable media speculation over what Begg may have left out of this memoir, it's a forcefully told, up-to-the-minute political story. Whether Begg is describing his Muslim and Asian friends fighting white supremacist skinhead street gangs in Birmingham, or telling how he shared poetry with a U.S. guard at Guantánamo, his tone is assured. His work will be necessary reading for people on all sides of the issue. (Sept.)
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Archbishop Desmond Tutu
... serious indictment of the USA for eroding ... rule of law by disregarding habeas corpus, as did ... apartheid regime in South Africa."
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