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Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo

What excuse will the Administration come up with for its torture of Guantanamo detainee Omar Deghayes?

Mr Deghayes mother Zohra Zewawi, from Brighton, wept as lawyer Clive Stafford Smith described the injuries the detainee has allegedly suffered at the Cuban base.

"In March 2004 the Emergency Reaction Force in Camp Delta came into his cell," he said. "They brought their pepper spray and held him down. "They held both of his eyes open and sprayed it into his eyes and later took a towel soaked in pepper spray and rubbed it in his eyes. "Omar could not see from either eye for two weeks but he gradually got sight back in one eye.

"He's totally blind in the right eye. I can report that his right eye is all white and milky - he can't see out of it because he has been blinded by the US in Guantanamo."

There's more. One guard stuck his finger in Omar Deghayes' eye. Another time, a guard smeared another detainee's feces on his face.

Mr Stafford Smith said his client had also had his head pushed in the toilet by US guards, in a separate incident he was kneed in the nose and slammed face down on the concrete surface of a recreation yard.

The Government declassified reports of conversations between Deghayes and Stafford Smith last week. The allegations are contained in Mr. Smith's statements. So, who is Omar Deghayes?

Mr Deghayes was a law student and has been held at the military base since early 2002. He is a British resident and had applied for British citizenship. The detainee travelled from the UK to Afghanistan, where he met and married an Afghan woman and they have a four-year-old son, Suleiman.

The detainee studied law at Wolverhampton University and began his Legal Practice Course at Huddersfield University in 1998, but had yet to complete it when he went to Afghanistan. "He wanted to go to Afghanistan for the simple reason that he is a Muslim and he wanted to see what it was like," said Mr Stafford Smith.

The family is appealing to the British Government to secure Mr. Deghaye's release. [link via Buzzflash ]

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    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#1)
    by nolo on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:16:42 PM EST
    Yeah, but did they get any useful intelligence? I think I know the answer to this question. Shame upon us.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:28:30 PM EST
    Your tax dollars at work.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:55:14 PM EST
    Ah, yes, 100% belief in every person not of the administration, police force, military, or Democrat party. I like the bit where every person is innocent until found guilty by a jury of their peers. Except that it doesn't apply to cops, prosecutors, jailers, soldiers, and Republicans. And the best bit is that profiling is evil and racist - unless you profile the really bad guys, you know, everyone but "the good guys." -C

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#4)
    by Darryl Pearce on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:05:38 PM EST
    Cliff's right. We don't know what's going on. We have an administration that admits things will be done in secret, especially at the outside-the-law facility that holds unlawful combatants.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:21:22 PM EST
    With such highly effective intellegence gathering techniques, I'm sure the bunker busting nukes will be applied to the right hidey-holes.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:31:32 PM EST
    Cliff - Wake up and smell the napalm in the morning They held both of his eyes open and sprayed it into his eyes and later took a towel soaked in pepper spray and rubbed it in his eyes This smells bad bush and deader thumbs up snapshots all the way. Saddam would be proud

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:38:42 PM EST
    You are scared with that? in the 70 US soldiers teached The Uruguayan soldiers in a school in the US (we were on a dictatorship) things worse than that, they put like electrical stcks when they were wet and they raped girls (all leftists prisoners), yes, everything was teached by the US government to fight the communists threat that were really common people that some of them (who are not dead) are neighbours of mine, 30 years ago the empire strikes back. I have no problem with american, my problem is with the government (Both, republican and democrats) who still allow this atrocities

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:47:22 PM EST
    This will look good in the history books...

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:54:22 PM EST
    Yes now bush and the media talk about human rights in cuba, did anyone said something about Pinochet, and the death of more than 50.000 when pinochet in 1973 started the dictatorship with the help of the US president and Henry K. (10 million dolars)

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:58:16 PM EST
    but remember who rights the history books, the ones who won the war and now rules the world maybe a good idea is in the next US elections make all the world vote ;)

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#11)
    by Rich on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 10:44:19 PM EST
    No surprise here. The Navy does this stuff to its own.....ASF, auxiliary security force in training. It's doctrinal to deliberately place pepper spray in the trainees' eyes. The Navy maintains the training is safe despite evidence and episodes to the contrary like this one where the cornea is permanently scarred to the point of marblizing. BTW, you can't see through a marble and the after affects are quite painful too. In one training episode here in the great Northwest, a single instructor managed to scarr the six corneas of three different individuals. i would be neglectful in not mentioning the same instructor during the same training event fractured the testicle of a trainee with a night stick. The latter reqired an orchiectomy, yeah, surgical removal of the nut. The punishment for the instuctor, none. Punishment for the injured, all left the Navy without medical compensation for their suffering.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 11:37:41 PM EST
    Bush needs prison with about 90 percent of our federal government. don't send our guys to prison, send bush to prison he order it.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#13)
    by Walter on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:15:08 AM EST
    "I like the bit about where every person is innocent until found guilty by a jury of their peers." That is for all except people like Omar Deghayes.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 05:17:04 AM EST
    rich - I spent a long time in the navy, and have a great deal of difficulty believeing that happened. But, if it did, I want it stopped. Can you provide any information that what you described happened? Or is this an urban myth? Frankly, I'm leaning in the myth direction.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 06:04:33 AM EST
    Well the marines kill their own recruits why wouldn't this happen

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 06:42:50 AM EST
    Dearest No Name - No, the Marines don't kill their own recruits, dodo. Walter - Omar is not a US citizen and has not been picked up for robbing a QuickiMart. As before, investigate, etc., and go after the guards if you have proof.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#17)
    by Rich on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 07:28:55 AM EST
    PPJ- let us say my job is to "take care of squid eyes". Even the NCIS guys tasked with the original investigation were appalled, but found their investigation without the support of the Navy brass. These events happened right after 9-11. You also can recognize privacy rules in the form of HIPAA codes prevent revelation of specific names. I'd suggest getting your head out of the sand because your skepticism borders on self-delusion and your devil's advocate routine runs stale. And yes the Marines killed a recruit a few days ago. The Navy did the same, pushed a rescue swimmer candidate back in the pool after he had asked for training time out during the summer of 1989 at NAS Pensacola. The murderer-instructor received minor punishment at captain's mast. The point of raising these examples PPJ is not to argue these undisputed facts but to lay the basis for the conclusion that we've instituionalized this behavior and 9-11 just peeled back the layers further.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:02:07 AM EST
    IF this happened, it's repulsive and the soldiers who did it should be made of an exampleof in front of a firing squad. However, one should note that the story Omar is telling through his lawyer does doe quite agree wtih the one he previously told, in which his eye was poked out by a soldier. And lo-and-behold, Omar and his lawyer are both failing to mention that he was partially blind when he was captured. This doesn't mean it didn't happen. But the discrepancies should at least afford the accused the benefit of a doubt until they are proven guilty.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:05:52 AM EST
    PPJ: So if Omar is not a US citizen he has no human rights? Way to go on promoting freedom and justice throughout the world. And, as you said so glibly, he wasn't arrested for robbing a QuikMart. So what was he picked up for? Do you know or were you just assuming that because he decided to live in a muslim country he must be a terrorist? Truth is Jim, there is no way that you or any of us will ever know what he's even accused of, never mind if he's actually guilty. And that's just the way your morally corrupt, militaristic Government wants it right now. When THEY arrest a man he's automatically guilty, right? Cos the "intelligence" services NEVER make mistakes. (Except for the small issue of no WMDs, or course). With all this in mind, I have a question: Why is it that you, (and people like you) seem to think that in the areas which YOU feel to be the responsibility of the state (basically, defense and policing) the Government can do no wrong, and yet when they do other things (like educate and protect the the health of the citizens) that same Government suddenly becomes a corrupt, bureaucratic monster unable to do anything right. Quick, Jim - better cover up! Your double-standards are showing.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:36:47 AM EST
    Truth is Jim, there is no way that you or any of us will ever know what he's even accused of, never mind if he's actually guilty. It would appear that Jim is not the only one who thinks Omar is a terrorist: Spain Does "The video featured two Islamic militants, Abu Mughen and Omar Deghayes, who are known to have met in Spain with two of those arrested on Tuesday, Osama Darra and the group's suspected leader, Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas." So much so that they are trying to extradite him "Also on Friday, the Spanish government began extradition proceedings for three other suspected members of the Spanish cell. At a regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting, ministers approved a request from Garzon that the government ask the US to extradite the three to Spain. They have been identified as Lahcen Ikassrien, Jamiel Abdul Latif Al Banna and Omar Deghayes. Their nationalities have not been released."

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:52:41 AM EST
    "As before, investigate, etc., and go after the guards if you have proof." And until then, just shut up, right? But what if we did that, PPJ? What if TL just stopped commenting on the news? Why, what would you do all day? You'd have no liberal website to hang at all day and no one to sh*t on. :(

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 10:29:16 AM EST
    "Omar is not a US citizen and has not been picked up for robbing a QuickiMart." Well, yeah. But even when we have demonstrably bad guys, big-time war criminals, we're expected to follow a certain level of standards. Do you think this guy is getting pepper spray rubbed in his corneas? Certainly a lot of people would like to do the rubbing -- he's directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. (And yes, we were slow to deal with the threat) It's not about how heinous the crime is which the person is accused of. I'm not downplaying that issue, but it's better to separate the behavior of the accused from how WE'RE supposed to behave. Criminals can act as horrible as they're going to act, but it doesn't mean we have to lower ourselves to their level. (And no, this isn't naive. There have also been several reports indicating that torture doesn't yield useful information. We ought to find a better way to protect ourselves.)

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 11:01:46 AM EST
    rich - Any investigation that came up with three incidents would not be swept under the rug. I suggest you don't make up fairy tales then hide behind gobblydook. BTW - That means I don't believe you. Dearest No Name - Details? And if what you have is a training accident, don't bother, because accidents can and do happen. And people do get killed during training. I knew some folks with real first hand experience. Dearest No Name - What would I do? Why I would work on tidying up my palatial retirement compound, catfish pond and BBQ stand. How about you? Practice saying, "Biggie size that?" webmacher - Problem is, you assume he is being truthful. I assume he is lying.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 11:51:00 AM EST
    I think it serves absolutly no purpose whatsoever to continue to argue with PPJ and his ilk. They can't be honest with themselves enough to say that the whole "innocent until proven guilty" argument they keep making is just a bunch of hog wash. If it such a valid arguement then why doesn't it apply to all of the people we have in detention here and abroad for their supposed terrorist links. If any of the allegations were true by this time the DOJ would have at least one case in court as having been a success in prosecuting suspected "terrorists". There isn't one and don't expect any to be coming forthwith. And the same has held true in the detention centers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Innocents ARE being tortured, not giving up any information that is useful, and then being sent home without so much as a sorry. PPJ and others like him know this is happening, obviously they have access to the internet and can read from various sources firsthand accounts of being held for weeks or months without charges. They pay lipservice to the commonly held belief that torture is wrong, but still can't help but cheer on the people doing it by not calling for a more transparent system of detention and making sure that all of the armed forces comply with the Geneva Convention. Oh yeah, PPJ, it's Ockam's razor and I am very familiar with it. Your reference to it another exchange of postings I think is very off base. I think this because applying the principle to the subjects at hand you'll see it will turn around against you. But then again you probably won't. As for attacking my willingness to serve our country you make the same mistake that most small, inconsequential men like yourself tend to fall into when confronting someone on the internet. Since you can't see them you don't really take into consideration that alot of us out here can't serve since we are not PHYSICALLY able. But that is ok, I wouldn't expect a fascist like you to think that there really are people who are continue to live a life while not being the same physical condition as the rest of the population. And next time don't call me boy, either. I know at the beginning of the post I say I think it is a waste of time even communicating with punk asses like PPJ(and I still do), but you got my ire up, bub. Ignorance and stupidity always get me going.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:04:04 PM EST
    If the guy WAS a terrorist, then we should gather the evidence (like the video), put him up in front of a jury, find him guilty (if the evidence merits it - sounds like it does if the account of the Spanish video is to be believed) and punish him at the end of a rope. Why is this a problem? Why can't we rely on a civilized, fair, and honest justice system? Ramsi Yousef, the guy who pulled off the 1993 WTC bombing is in jail, after a fair trial. Yet after 9/11, we "took off the gloves", and not only have we utterly failed to capture Osama bin Laden, we have also utterly failed to convict ONE single damn terrorist, even without "our hands tied behind out bracks by due process". One other thing we've failed utterly to do, is defend Civilization from the forces of barbarism.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:12:43 PM EST
    One other thing we've failed utterly to do, is defend Civilization from the forces of barbarism. Exactly. And Americans failed all the more in defending the civilized world that they relected a war criminal as president.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 01:39:18 PM EST
    Cliff - Dont you have a uniform store mannequin(with shiny black boots)to hump? Better get goin.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 05:12:34 PM EST
    Osama - The objective is to kill'em, not convict them. The problem is, we tried a CJ system approach for about 25 years. It didn't work. The terrorists became bolder, and bolder and bolder. 9/11 was the result.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 05:42:36 PM EST
    Sherman - Yes, you are so super sharp that you have managed to mix two threads. And since stupidity and ignornance gets you moving, you must be spinning like a top. And you are right, I didn't consider that you might have a physical problem and would be unable to serve. But you brought the subject of service up, so don't feel too put out. As for your other comments, calling people punk as*ses and brownshirts is almost 100% sure to get them to immediately dislike you. On a note closer to the subject, I again state that with rights comes responsibilities, something most people don't seem to understand. On an even closer note, I note that you don't note that the detainee in question appears to be wanted also by Spain.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 11:35:57 PM EST
    I'm always amazed how everyone here is so willing to accept as pure truth and fact every utterance against the US put forth by the very people who would joyfully put you all in your grave. The first alarm bell should have been the whole minding my own business in my prison cell when I was jumped by guards and held me down garbage. Give me a break! I'm not buying his pitiful tale. By the way, the Reaction Force only moves on rioters and other disturbances- he probably deserved it. You know, it is part of Al Qaeda's and other groups training to allege and scream torture and abuse if caught.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#31)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 09:30:05 AM EST
    G.O., We just read history, that's all.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 10:14:48 AM EST
    Thanks Gerry Owens. I fell for those pictures from Abu Ghraib and the death certificates from Bagram. What was I thinking? These are clearly propaganda cooked up by Al Qaeda. That explains everything.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 12:28:32 PM EST
    Everyone is so bent on human rights for those who if got half a chance would do the same to us if not worse. I say that if it happen then those guys should have got some repromand but in the same sense if you were put in their situation what would you do give someone who if they had half a chance would take your life with no remorse for you or your family. I suggest that if you want to talk about human rights you spend 6mo to a year over there and tell me what you think then.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 01:15:28 PM EST
    No, PPJ, I mentioned my family members service, did I also say anything about myself? NO, I didn't, chump, so let's not try and convolute the situation. It was determined by the MEPS in my state that I couldn't joining the service and not some doctor I got to find a way for me to avoid joining the military. End of story. I also have seen that you also like to post anonomously so you can skirt the 4 posts a day rule, but that is typical for an authoritarian like yourself. Rules apply, just not to you or the people you deem worthy of bending them. Sounds like par for the course for a fascist like yourself. BTW, I don't really care if you like me or not. And calling you a fascist is not mere rhetoric, I just call em' like I see 'em. (To all at Talk Left I promise to no longer personally attack any of our posters that are more into Brown Shirts as casual wear.)

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 06:15:30 PM EST
    Sherman - Wrong again. First, I am not limited to four comments a day, so there is no reason for me to post "anon." But if you are referring to my 1:56PM comment, you might note two things. First, it was a direct response to Che, one comment space down. Secondly, it was the last comment on the thread, and by the time I realized I had not used my moniker, it was too late, the thread was closed. Anyway, I am sure Che knew who was answering him. As for your family, my advice is if you don't want them commented on, don't bring them into the comment. And if you don't want to be responded to in a harsh manner, you should drop the "chump," "brownshirt," etc. Your medical condition is also your business. If it keeps you from serving, so be it. In the spirit of giving you an opportunity to do something besides rant, I will offer the following, which you can comment on or ignore. 1. Everyone has human rights. 2. Human rights do not give you the right to be a US citizen. 3. As a US citizen, the responsibilities that come with these rights justifies and allows you to be protected and judged by the world's best criminal justice system. 4. If you are not a US citizem, you do not automatically get the same rights. In the past, spies and terrorists were tried by military tribunal, and executed. 5. What we have now is a mixture of people. Some are terrorists. Some are not "terrorists" but do fight for and with terrorists. Some are neither, and have been arrested and or captured in error. The question is, how do we deal with them?

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:05:51 PM EST
    Has anyone even taken a second to realize that this is an allegation with no evidence whatsoever? Pepper spray usually does not cause clouding of the eye, that is a symptom of diabetes which is much more of a problem in Arab cultures than our own since over-eating and obesisty are cultural problems.

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 25, 2005 at 02:53:27 PM EST
    Everyone here seems to be missing the point by arguing whose claims are factual, and whose are lies. The point is that he'd been held in secrecy, without access to the outside world, where virtually any indignity could take place--with "no evidence whatsoever" virtually guaranteed. Evidence or not, he was JAILED in secrecy, outside the law, without a hearing. That fact remains uncontested here. See, in MY America, there aren't secret jailings. The system is purposely open and on the record to thwart arbitrary accusation and punishment of "unfavorables." This openess curtails all attempts to usurp democracy via secret justice and intimidation. I also believe that my America embraces the basic, universal rights that ALL humans should have, British or otherwise, and is willing to extend this conviction to the rest of the world. In my America, we are bold and confident enough in our laws to give the guilty the same rights as the innocent. And when they've been proven guilty, we punish them as severly as possible for violating our trust. My America is the most advanced civilization in the world, with no need for Junta tactics, because we are too smart, too clever, too rich and too commited to the Law and humanity to resort to the same techniques employed by the worst of dictators. In short, we are better than this. If Deghayes is guilty, we're experts enough to prove it. Or clever enough to tail him for intelligence. If innocent, we are moral enough to treat him with dignity. My America provides for both instances by applying punishment after judgement, not before. Anyway, that's my America. What's yours like?

    Re: Detainee Blinded at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#38)
    by pigwiggle on Fri Feb 25, 2005 at 03:05:28 PM EST
    "Omar is not a US citizen and has not been picked up for robbing a QuickiMart." Due process is a fundamental right, not just reserved for US citizens. But for the more pragmatic, how easily do you think your citizenship can be revoked? Iíll get back to you when I finally make it through the USPA.