Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Andy Worthington on Abraham, Al-Ghizzawi

Andy Worthington has a piece in Huffington Post, (also picked up by Yahoo News) on the whistle blowing of of Lt. Col. Abraham.

Regarding our friend, Al-Ghizzawi, Worthington writes:
The detainee in question is Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi, a Libyan who was 39 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan towards the end of 2001. Al-Ghizzawi had been living in Afghanistan since the Russians left the country in 1989, and had settled comfortably in his new home. Married to an Afghan woman, he had a six-month-old daughter, and ran a shop that sold bread and honey. When the US-led invasion began, he took his wife and daughter to his wife's parents' home in the country, to escape the bombing raids, but was abducted by some locals, who were seduced by American offers of free money for life, publicized through leaflets dropped from planes which stated, "You can receive millions of dollars for helping the anti-Taliban force catch al-Qaeda and Taliban murderers. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life - pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people." Sold to the Northern Alliance, he was, in turn, sold to the US military, and made his way to Guantánamo via US-run prisons in Afghanistan, where the orders handed down to the interrogators by the military decision-makers based in Camp Doha, Kuwait, were that every Arab should be sent to Guantánamo.

The story of what subsequently happened to Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi adds unprecedented weight to Stephen Abraham's concerns, particularly about the administration's obsession with confirming detainees' "enemy combatant" status at all costs. Reiterating complaints made in his affidavit, Abraham told Glaberson, "Anything that resulted in a 'not enemy combatant' [verdict] would just send ripples through the entire process. The interpretation [was], 'You got the wrong result. Do it again.'" Once the interfering intelligence officer - and, presumably, his obdurate colleagues - had been sacked, the administration convened a second tribunal for al-Ghizzawi, which duly found that he was an "enemy combatant" after all. Over two years later, he remains in Guantánamo, suffering from hepatitis 'B' and, possibly, liver cancer, and reportedly the victim of malingering on the part of the medical staff, because he refuses to admit that he was a terrorist and not a shopkeeper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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