January 24, 2015


Fascinating segment on Guantanamo prisoner, Mahomadou Ould Slahi, who has been held for 12 years without any charges. He's written a best-selling diary, which Colin Firth and Dominic West read from in this video. The former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo calls him "no more a terrorist than Forrest Gump."

I am just as concerned with apprehending terrorist as any other American. Sometimes dark, creepy measures are justified against people with sinister agendas. But this guy has no charges against him! He was walking down the street one day and the US government "disappeared" him. Of course, the torture he describes is horrific, but how about the cruelty of this? His mother was told by Mauritania's's government that he was imprisoned there, not in a foreign country. So the poor mom cooked and brought food to the prison every day for years. And we wonder how terrorists are created and radicalized. Here's how: the US government is cruel and unfair. Few of us make the connection that our tax dollars pay for his inexplicable confinement and torture because we've given up on our government representing us. And how can we be concerned about cruelties that most news never focuses on?

What's most striking is that Mahomadou himself, through over a decade of torture and baseless imprisonment, struggles in his letters to understand something incomprehensible. And even expresses a wish to have mint tea with his torturers to try and mend fences and make some kind of sanity out of something totally insane.