Guantanamo turns four

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Amnesty International has a report out today marking the fourth anniversary of the first detainee transfers to Guantanamo. It contains new testimonies from current and former detainees alleging physical and psychological torture and seemingly routine sadism.

One detainee, Jumah al-Dossari, a 32-year-old Bahraini national, describes being threatened with rape and severely beaten, and having his head smashed repeatedly against the floor until he lost consciousness. (He also describes having cigarettes stubbed out on his skin and being urinated on by US marines in Afghanistan.) Another, Sami al Hajj, a 35-year-old Sudanese cameraman who worked for al-Jazeera in Afghanistan, describes a range of ill-treatment and more than three years of interrogations “focused on getting me to say that there is a relationship between al-Jazeera and al Qaeda.”

Amnesty says there are still more than 500 detainees at Guantanamo. Read the report here.

Note: Last year Mother Jones interviewed Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer representing Guantanamo detainees (inlcuding Sami al Hajj), and Michael Ratner, head of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. And Emily Bazelon, writing in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, detailed how controversial interrogation techniques used by the US military in Afghanistan “migrated” to American prisons in Iraq.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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