The following article, circulated as an email by Guantánamo lawyer David Remes this morning, apparently caught a number of people off-guard, and David has subsequently found himself taken to task for circulating it. In contrast, I thought it was a perfect April Fools’ Day joke, and neatly encapsulated, as satire should, every failure of the Obama administration to repudiate the crimes committed by the Bush administration in the “War on Terror,” and to hold accountable those who authorized and implemented the use of torture. As a result, I’m happy to reproduce it below.
Victory at last!
A satirical article by David Remes
President Obama announced early this morning that the United States has entered into a series of bilateral accords that will permit the repatriation or resettlement of almost all remaining Guantánamo detainees within the next 60 days. Only detainees slated for prosecution in federal civilian court will continue to be held.
The accords will also cover detainees held by the United States, or by other countries by agreement with the United States. “We will no longer countenance proxy detentions,” a senior Administration official said in an interview.
Mr. Obama stated: “Detention without trial cannot be squared with the core principles of justice on which this nation was founded. It’s time to end this shameful policy once and for all.” The president stated that he would work with Congress to repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2009, passed last year by Congress, and close what he called “loopholes” in anti-torture laws.
In a related development, Attorney General Eric H. Holder also announced early this morning that he will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the roles senior Bush Administration officials may have played in authorizing or approving interrogation techniques that constitute torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment under international law.
Mr. Holder stated: “We will not rest until every Bush Administration official implicated in such crimes is held fully accountable for their crimes. If the special prosecutor determines that any Bush Administration official played any role in these crimes, that official will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and we will seek the maximum penalty allowed by law.”
Human rights groups hailed the announcements. In a joint statement, they said: “We supported President Obama because he pledged to end the horrific policies of his predecessor. He has now made good on his promises.”
Former senior Bush Administration officials declined to comment, but Elizabeth Cheney, whose father is Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, stated, “President Obama should go back to Kenya, and the rest should go straight to hell.”
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in January 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
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