UN: Shut Guantanamo Down

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Following an 18 month investigation directed by the UN Commission on Human Rights, five experts have called for the U.S. to close Guantanamo Bay. Determining that the force feeding techniques employed by the facility are acts of torture, the UN envoys have composed a 38-page report on their findings. Although the report will not be released until the next UN Commission meeting on March 13, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has already started doing damage control, calling the findings “unfounded.”

The reason? The UN experts based their findings on interviews with released prisoners, lawyers, family members and U.S. officials, but never personally toured the facility. Now it’s true that the UN members did in fact reject an invitation to visit the detention center, but McCormack has already acknowledged that even if they had accepted, they would not have been granted access to prisoners. Nevertheless, McCormack added, “just because they decided not to take up the U.S. government on the offer to go to Guantanamo Bay does not automatically give them the right to publish a report that is merely hearsay and not based on fact.”

So sometime during the last six months, the Bush administration “invited” inspectors to tour the facility, but purely on the basis of limited access—all so that the White House could dispute the authenticity of the report when it finally came out.

It should also be noted that last June UN inspectors were sitting around waiting to gain access to Guantanamo, a year after their initial “strong and urgent” request to access the facility. Calling U.S. authorities unresponsive, UN representative Paul Hunt called for an investigation to “check the accuracy of … other allegations concerning the health of detainees …. to see the conditions for myself, to talk privately with detainees and to discuss on site with medical staff and others….So I’m extremely disappointed that despite waiting for 18 months, and despite several requests, the authorities have not seen fit to grant permission to visit Guantánamo Bay.”

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate