Press TV has conducted an interview with Kamel Wazne, political analyst, Beirut, about Guantanamo Bay prison and President Obama’s conduct of this issue. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
In retrospect how do you see the past 100-plus days, the harsh treatment of the detainees, the force-feeding and other circumstances that are in clear violation of human rights and international law?
I think this is a disgrace for the United States and for its democratic system and for its justice system.
People around the globe look at the Obama administration and what he has done in terms of mistreatment of these detainees, whatever their crimes - because they haven’t been brought to a court of justice - and they look at what he has done as a president.
Today I think President Obama will address those two issues because he is going to speak about the two issues of Guantanamo and the drone war that he also involved himself and he chooses the targets - and all the innocent people that have been killed because of these orders that came from him directly.
I think a lot of civil rights activists around the globe are condemning what Mr. Obama has done and what the United States has done in terms of those two issues.
When you look at the perspective of injustice that has taken place and the inhumane treatment of these detainees you can see the true pictures of what American democracy is all about - torture, torture, torture.
Despite all the efforts to close down the prison in your opinion why is Guantanamo still fully functioning, up and running?
I think there is no resolve or will of the Americans to close the detention, this torturous concentration camp. I think the issue lies with the president and the Congress.
For some reason the Americans they think they can send a strong message to whoever they’re fighting that this is a way they can be treated. This is the wrong message because a country that respects itself will put those detainees on trial and to see if they actually committed any crime or wrong doing.
And the fact that American values that they talk about, it’s really resented in Guantanamo and these detention centers. America’s values and their words and their deeds are two different things and if those in the Obama administration especially today in his speech -probably he will address that issue.
But I think the time has passed on his presidency to look upon some disgraceful acts committed and continues to be committed in his time.
Lawyers both military and civilian have been calling on the US government to improve the conditions for the detainees and have also made their calls to close the detention facility down. Will these pleas make any difference?
We haven’t seen that for 13 years, I don’t expect it to happen any time soon, The UN called this detention torture. Human rights organizations around the world say it’s a violation of the Geneva agreement and every agreement on human beings.
People in the United States, the civil rights activists, accuse Obama of committing crimes in that sense, but so far there is a deaf ear in the White House and in the Justice Department and I think the American people should look very carefully about how they conduct their business inside the country and around the globe.
This is mis-justice at best. If you’ve committed a crime, give due process, a trial; but not torture and that is what is taking place in Guantanamo today.