To torture or not to torture…


It looks like Donald Rumsfeld is busy trying to get more than half of the Guantanamo prisoners out of the naval base… and sent some place where they would have even less rights. Similar to “extraordinary rendition” procedures, detainees would be sent to prisons in other countries, often in places where torture is common. Pentagon officials claim that recent court rulings — especially those challenging administration claims that Guantanamo detainees have no rights — have been a motivating factor here.

The transfer may prove a fairly difficult task given the fact that the CIA and State Department aren’t really keen on taking the fallout for sending more prisoners to places where they will be abused. Moreover, it seems that some of the destination countries “have largely ignored American requests for transfers.”

Even as all this is going on, the Pentagon is still pushing for its $41 million financing request from Congress to build a more “modern prison” in Guantanamo. The new digs are for the rest of the prisoners who Defense Department officials claim “are expected to remain there for the foreseeable future.” These roughly 200 semi-permanent prisoners are, apparently “too dangerous to be turned over to other nations or would probably face mistreatment if returned to those nations.” Since when is the Pentagon worried about their “too dangerous” detainees being tortured?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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