Another Brutalized Guantanamo Victim Freed
by Stephen Lendman
Guantanamo represents pure US evil. It’s the tip of a disturbing iceberg, one of numerous US global black sites operating extrajudicially.
Unknown numbers of innocent victims languish under hellish conditions, subjected to torture and other horrific forms of mistreatment, denied all international law guaranteed rights.
Most were uncharged, others falsely accused. They’re all Muslims, America’s target of choice.
The vast majority of the 779 men and boys held at Guantanamo since the infamous camp opened in 2002 were sold to US authorities for bounty – not imprisoned for criminality.
A handful were convicted by rubber-stamp military commissions – illegal by any standard, due process and judicial fairness denied.
Many prisoners cleared for release remain detained. Around 100 are still illegally held. Like other US torture prisons, Guantanamo remains a black hole of injustice, symbolizing Washington’s barbarism.
Kuwaiti national Fayiz Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari was extrajudicially held since 2002. On January 8, a Defense Department statement announced his repatriation “to the government of the State of Kuwait.”
After 14 years of wrongful detention, US authorities determined he’s no “threat to the security of the United States.” He never was nor were virtually all other wrongfully held detainees.
A US rubber-stamp Combatant Status Review Tribunal falsely accused him of “participat(ing) in jihad in Afghanistan” despite no verifiable evidence proving it.
“Osama bin Laden personally provided (him and others with) religious instruction and (training).”
Impossible! He was ill and dying, succumbing in December 2001 in a Pakistan hospital of natural causes – widely reported at the time. Obama did not kill Osama.
Kandari categorically denied accusations against him. Years earlier, his lead Office of Military Commissions assigned lawyer Lt. Col. Barry Wingard said:
“There simply is no evidence other than he is a Muslim in Afghanistan at the wrong time, other than double and triple hearsay statements, something I have never seen as justification for incarceration.”
He called Kandari unjustly “caged like a circus animal.” All detainees at Guantanamo and other US black sites are automatically guilty by accusation.
Kandari was a humanitarian aid worker in Afghanistan at the wrong time, caught up in the post-US October 2001 invasion chaos – seized and sold to US authorities as he tried fleeing cross-border to Pakistan for safety.
As a teenager, he experienced Saddam’s summer 1990 Kuwait invasion. He helped others in his community, delivering food, providing various services.
He was appalled by America’s rape of Yugoslavia, calling it similar to what happened to Kuwait. He chose the wrong time to provide humanitarian aid for beleaguered Afghans.
Refusing to believe “there is no innocent person” at Guantanamo made him a marked man, singled out for special brutality, including prolonged torture and other ways used to try breaking his spirit.
Remarkably, he refused to make false confessions. Allegations against him were entirely fabricated, including:
- “provid(ing) instruction to Al Qaeda members and trainees;”
- “serv(ing) as an advisor to Osama bin Laden,” a man he never met and had no connection to;
- “produc(ing) recruitment audio and video tapes which encouraged membership in Al Qaeda and participation in jihad.”
Other falsified allegations followed during his years of illegal detention, including:
- fighting for the Taliban;
- spending time at Tora Bora with bin Laden;
- serving as an Al Qaeda and Taliban religious leader; and
- being associated with al-Wafa, a Saudi charity said to be linked to terrorism.
No evidence supported any allegations he faced. During a 2005 military review, he said:
“At the end of this exciting story and after all these various accusations, when I spent most of my time alongside bin Laden as his advisor and his religious leader…All this happened in a period of three months, which is the period of time I stayed in Afghanistan. I ask, are these accusations against (me) or against Superman?”
He was brutally interrogated hundreds of times, justice denied him until now – 14 years late. He was never convicted of any crimes, all charges dropped last year.
Back home, how Kuwaiti authorities treat him remains to be seen. His travel will be restricted. He’ll be closely watched. Maybe his ill-treatment will continue.
He’s “delighted to be going home and reuniting with his beloved parents and family after all these years away,” his civilian attorney Eric Lewis explained.
He “looks forward to resuming a peaceful life and to putting Guantanamo behind him.” He remains a victim of US barbarism.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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