Author banned from reading own bestseller

Mohamedou Slahi was rewarded for his anti-communist efforts with 15 years of illegal detention and torture.What kind of fascist regime would prohibit a best-selling author from reading his own book? It is the same regime that now prevents his brother from advocating for his release from Guantanamo, as reported today by The Intercept. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, author of Guantánamo Diary was personally fingered by Donald Rumsfeld for a special interrogation program shortly after his adbuction in 2002. He's been imprisoned at Guantanamo without charges ever since. On March 22, 2010 Slahi prevailed in federal court and was granted habeus corpus by Judge James Robertson, but the Obama administration managed to have the motion rescinded for "further factual findings" that never happened and Slahi awaits a June 2nd military hearing about his potential for release.

It's interesting to remember Barack Obama's opinion of Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

From the ABC News blog:

It was January 17, 2001, and Illinois state senator Barack Obama was on WTTW11’s “Chicago Tonight."

Discussing his opposition to Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, Obama praised newly-elected President Bush's new nominee for Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

“The proof in the pudding is looking at the treatment of the other Bush nominees," Obama said. "I mean for the most part, I for example do not agree with a missile defense system, but I dont think that soon-to-be-Secretary Rumsfeld is in any way out of the mainstream of American political life. And I would argue that the same would be true for the vast majority of the Bush nominees, and I give him credit for that.

Prior to Rumsfeld, the Geneva Convention was considered mainstream, but a new paradigm had arrived in Washington that was eventually clarified by Alberto Gonzalez on January 25, 2002:

"This new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges."

Under "this new paradigm" Slahi was detained and interrogated by Mauritanian officers and the FBI in November of 2001 about the "Millenium Plot". He was then rendered by the CIA to a secret prison in Jordan, where his personal hell would begin.

Like other prisoners held at Guantanamo, Slahi is aware of how US foreign policy becomes reality. What made him a target for special treatment was his trip to Afghanistan in 1990 to fight a communist government the US opposed. This was an adventure CIA agents have boasted about in public, the same agents who boasted about the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan. Slahi has never been accused of any crime, but our secret government refuses to release him, and has done everything possible to prevent the release of his diary, which has become an intentional best seller.

In the New York Review of Books, Steve Coll lauds this "Eloquent Voice from Guantanamo":

In December 2005, a panel of US military officers at Guantánamo Bay convened a hearing about the case of a Mauritanian prisoner named Mohamedou Ould Slahi. In the midst of the proceedings, Slahi mentioned that he had recently completed a memoir. “When it is released I advise you guys to read it,” he said. “It is a very interesting book, I think.”

This once, an author’s generous self-assessment proves to be an understatement. It took ten years for Slahi’s lawyers, editor, and publisher to bring a version of his hand-scrawled, 466-page manuscript to the public.

5 months have passed since this and other glowing reviews greeted the release of this unique publication. (The word "unique" is often abused, but not here). Mohamedou Ould Slahi remains in Guantanamo, not allowed to see his own book, and his completely innocent brother who flew here from Germany to advocate for his release is interrogated and sent back to Germany by an agency that did not exist before our current Fascist regime told hold.

"Asked by The Intercept about the decision to refuse Yahdih entry, the CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) sent a boilerplate statement about its broad authority to control admission to the United States." writes Cora Currier, who will be moderating a discussion with Yahdih Ould Slahi this week.


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