Friday, March 8, 2013

Just Imagine

Trey Smith

Police in your local community announce they are increasing efforts to round up deadbeat dads, meth dealers, sex offenders or folks with unpaid parking tickets. You think nothing of it because, whoever they are trying to round up this week, you don't match the description at all. So, you are going about your routine business when, all of a sudden, you are surrounded by a gaggle of law enforcement officers. With guns drawn, you are ordered onto your knees. Once you comply, you are slammed face first to the ground, cuffed and hauled off to jail.

Time and time again, you ask a simple question, "What is this all about?" All you want to know is what you are suspected of doing. But no one will tell you.

Before you know it, you are whisked away to a prison far from your home. You have not been allowed to make as little as one phone call to let your family know you are still alive. Though you ask repeatedly, you are not allowed to speak to an attorney. Weeks turn into months and months turn into years. You still have no idea WHY you have been incarcerated. Even when you finally are assigned a lawyer -- years into the process -- you still learn very little EXCEPT that the government has never filed ANY charges against you. Not one.

At some point, your attorney learns that several years prior, you were cleared for release and yet, 11 years after being arrested, you continue to languish in prison. In essence, you are in legal limbo because you can't defend yourself against crimes you have never been charged with!

Don't you think that by this point your life would be one of abject misery and despair? Do you think you might simply give up on life and beg to be allowed to die?

This imagined scenario is not a fairytale. It describes the lives of hundreds of men housed at Guantánamo Bay.

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