What John Brennan’s support for CIA torture meant for Sami al-Hajj

Amy Goodman writes: It takes courage to enter a warzone willingly, armed with a microphone and a camera as a journalist. That is what al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj was doing in December 2001, as he was entering Afghanistan from Pakistan to cover the US military operations there.

While his colleague was allowed in, al-Hajj was arrested, in what was to be a harrowing, nightmarish odyssey that lasted close to seven years, most of it spent as prisoner 345, the only journalist imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay – without charge. Al-Hajj is out now, back at work at al-Jazeera and reunited with his family. His recollections of the horror of detention by the United States should be front and center in the forthcoming confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the CIA, John Brennan.

It has been 11 years since the Guantánamo prison was opened, and four years since President Obama promised to close it within a year.

“He speaks very eloquently [about] what many hundreds of other detainees suffered, who cannot tell their story,” Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, told me:

“The brutality he suffered in Afghanistan, the fact that he was turned over for political reasons or for a bounty, the arbitrariness of his detention in Guantanamo and the brutality of his treatment there.”

I sat down with Sami al-Hajj last month at al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “What John Brennan’s support for CIA torture meant for Sami al-Hajj

  1. Cris Ericson

    Hurry! Please sign White House Petition
    online to End Drone Strikes Killing
    Children! http://wh.gov/UKpQ

    This petition was written by world famous
    war protester, Rosemarie Jackowski,
    of Bennington, Vermont.

    Every day there are new news stories
    of Drone Strikes that kill innocent
    civilians. President Obama is
    giving the U.S.A. a bad reputation!

    Please sign the petition, we can
    do better than this! Use the brains
    God gave us!

  2. DE Teodoru

    When you allow the idiots to run things at the top, the criminals and psychos run things at the bottom. That may be inevitable in war. But the last several wars were totally senseless as they created more hateful enemies ready to die killing us while we invariably fail to kill a lot of their growing numbers, multiples of those we kill. And so, our soldiers in the field invariably hear of their families back home paying for the ambitious stupidity of their commanders and the senseless cruelty of our stressed-out troops. But America wised up as it always does when it all turned into an issue of dollars and cents. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER OUR “HOMELAND” WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AS OUR TROOPS ARE WITHDRAWN BECAUSE WE FIND THE RETURN ON OUR CARNAGE “NO LONGER PROFITABLE.” The more our troops kill to stay alive, the more, IN THE SHORT RUN, they create vengeful recruits ready to die killing us and, with time, some to sneak into our rear to avenge the victims of our “justice.” 9/11 was the inevitable result of America’s post-Cold War hubris. Bush was a certified idiot as were Rumsfeld, Cheney and the JCS whores (not to speak of Petraeus & Co). Alas, it took a “surge” for him to get some younger chicks to play he-man with before prostatic cancer got the best of him. And so, he is left disgraced, victim of his ambition to have it all, to fight cancer for his life alone. That’s symbolic of where the Bush Era neocons drove all the commanding morons inebriated on avarice and ambition. al-Hajj will see God avenge him by just watching the news from America on alJazeera. Alas, our grandkids and his will pay for the neoocon shleps that made their 30 pieces of silver each from the Military Industrial Complex Eisenhower warned us about. They didn’r do it for Israel, they did it for the corporate $$$!

    But Obama I though t– as a legal scholar– would know better that you can’t just backout safely while killing everything in front of you and never be held accountable for your crimes….He’s been drinking the Koolaide that made Reagan finally go gaga!

    For the sake of HIS daughters and all our grandkids, he better find a way for America to make amends to the victims of the wanton Bush-it killing he called for on his watch.

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