“To my mind, the case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif shows the Obama administration at its most callous,” says Andy Worthington, whose full remarks can be read here. In my opinion, this case shows the cruelty of the Obama regime and the depravity of the US government. I believe that History is going to be less reticent than many, in public and private statements, have been about what exactly is the nature of the US government at this time. Depravity seems to me to be an appropriate word. Those who come later may find it not strong enough.
Adnan Farhan Abdu Latif continues to suffer agonies in Guantanamo, like many of the other Yemenis whom the Obama regime will not release, regardless of their previous clearance or their obvious innocence. Obama prefers to protect his political future to appearing “soft on terrorism” after the still murky event of the “underwear bomber” from Yemen.
So grave is Latif’s condition that Amnesty International wrote in May of 2010:
“He states that ‘IRF [Immediate Response Force] teams enter my cell on [a] regular basis. They throw me and drag me on the floor two days before writing this letter [the IRF team] strangled me and pressed hard behind my ears . I lost consciousness for more than an hour’. His lawyer told Amnesty International that he has cuts and bruises. Adnan Latif also wrote in his letter in March that the circumstances in which he is living ‘makes death more desirable than living. I find no taste for life, sleep or rest’. He has made several suicide attempts in Guantanamo. On 10 May 2009, Adnan Latif cut one of his wrists during a meeting with his lawyer at Guantanamo and threw his blood at his lawyer. Thereafter, he was made to meet with his lawyer in shackles.
“Adnan Latif was previously held in solitary confinement in a psychiatric ward at Guantanamo. Amnesty International does not have further information about Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif’s current health, but given his previous suicide attempts, his reported physical and mental health problems, combined with his continued indefinite detention without charge or trial, Amnesty International remains seriously concerned for his physical and psychological health.
“Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif’s family, including his young son, live in Yemen.”
Read the full account here and another from 2009 here.
According to Worthington’s report, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif was in Afghanistan in 2001 seeking affordable health care for repercussions from a serious head injury sustained in a car accident in 1994. He had spent years trying to get treatment and went to Afghanistan because he had heard of a Pakistani who offered health care there and would treat him. Many of us in the US who cannot afford health care should be able to relate to this man’s situation.
When the US invaded, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif fled to the border town of Khost and crossed into Pakistan where he was taken hostage with a group of other men who appeared to be Arabs. He, a sick man, was sold for $5000.00 to the US for “looking like an Arab,” has suffered unspeakable horrors and does so today.
Though it must have been obvious to anyone who inquired just a little bit that Latif was injured and ill, the US was not inquiring. This was after the infamous loss [deliberate release?] of al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders who were airlifted out of Kunduz at Cheney’s order and the subsequent need to fill up Guantanamo with anybody they could find. Read a previous post on this blog about that here.
The US interrogators and “processors” of these persons sold by the bounty hunters had been trained that they were getting the “worst of the worst.” US military personnel [and CIA agents specifically trained to torture?], some of whom are already horrified at what they did, believed what they were told and did not think that anything the persons remanded to them said could be credible. Furthermore, few of them speak any language but English.
I always come back to Colonel Yvonne Bradley, the JAG lawyer sent to Guantanamo in 2005 who had been told the prisoners there were the “worst of the worst” and discovered that her government lied. This was years later, in 2005, and she was assigned to defend one of the prisoners. I still wish that some of the military and other US personnel had had her courage when confronted with a person like Latif. I wish one of them had been willing, as she was, to risk her career for the truth.
They couldn’t or at least didn’t. It appears that the members of the IRF still can’t.
Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif is a sick man whose sufferings and torture during more than nine years of US imprisonment are incalculable.
The contradiction between the increasingly “christian” US military and the torture and abuse of the prisoners in the military prison at Guantanamo is shocking. How can one reconcile a god whom they claim is love with the torture and abuse of innocent people for political and imperialist ends. For that matter, how can they justify torture of any prisoner, even the most culpable?
The contradiction between the statements of US leaders like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, their reprimands of the leaders of other countries on the issue of human rights and their continuing use of torture and abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo and other US prisons does not go unnoticed in the world.
I fear a day of dire reckoning for the US. Like Ray McGovern, himself the victim of abuse whose personal reflections on that you can read here, I want to be on the right side of history.
I demand the immediate release of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif and that he be returned to his family. I demand indemnification for him. Money can never give him back these nine years and two months of his life, but it can help get him good medical care of his choice.
I must continue to resist the torture center at Guantanamo and demand it be closed now.