Sunday, March 13, 2016

Shaker Smiles: He Was in Gtmo for 14 Years Without Charge.

The Obama administration finally yielded to a lengthy campaign to secure the British resident Shaker Aamed's release, after Guantanamo journalist Andy Worthington wrote an open letter to President Obama for Independence Day, which was signed by nearly a hundred celebrities, including Roger Waters, Sting, Patrick Stewart and London's Mayor Boris Johnson.

As a result, President Obama discussed the decision to move Aamer, whose case has become a cause celebre among rights groups in Britain, with Prime Minister David Cameron in a phone call. On November 11, 2015, a beautiful photo and statement from the brother was released by friends.

"I can't tell you how much I want to speak to all of you and stand with all of you, carrying on the struggle for justice for everybody who has been oppressed and needs our help. If there is one thing we can do to save the whole world it is to fight for justice. We will work hard together to close Guantánamo and every unlawful facility run by any government worldwide. Justice has no colour or religion or race.

"I promise all of you good people — those whose names I know, and those whose names I do not know — that my heart and my spirit feel your thoughts of justice. I care for you all.

Yours sincerely,

Shaker Aamer ISN 239"


Clive Stafford Smith predicted in the Guardian last September that when Shaker Aamer is free from Guantanamo, the slurs will start.

"My maternal grandmother once gave me some advice that has never left me: when someone does you wrong, bizarrely, they will invariably hate you for it. This stems from a very human desire not to admit mistakes. Therefore if you want to salvage a relationship with the person who wronged you, you must go out of your way to be kind to them."

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo Bay has been done a terrible wrong - held for almost 14 years without charges, tortured over and over. He has never met his youngest son Faris, who was born on the very day he arrived in the notorious US military base.

"And why has he been held so long? Because not only was Aamer a victim of abuse but he also witnessed the torture of others, most catastrophically Ibn Sheikh al Libi, who "confessed" falsely that al-Qaida was in league with Saddam Hussein on weapons of mass destruction. This was repeated by President George W Bush himself as a reason to go to war in Iraq - so here we are, tens of thousands of dead people later, and we know it was false. Al Libi merely told his torturers what they wanted to hear, to try to end the pain," writes Smith.

There is one matter that is beyond all doubt: The US military and the UK intelligence services will start briefing against Aamer. They will do this because they know they have done him wrong, and they hate him for it. They feel a very human urge to prove that they were justified and, in their distorted morality, that can only be true if he is a very, very bad man indeed. They always do this.

"In Aamer's case, the defamation has already begun. The moment the 30-day notice was given, Texas Congressman Mac Thornberry sent a statement to the Washington Post that Aamer was far too dangerous to be released - apparently forever," reports Worthington.

You do not publish devastating rumours about a person who has no way to defend himself, without checking and double-checking your source - even when it concerns a powerless person held incommunicado for more than a decade, like Aamer.

"Those who wish to prove that they were right to indulge in a spot of torture are very sad and misguided people."

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