The administration of U.S. president Barack Obama has said it will close the infamous prison camp at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In recent years that prison has come to be seen as a symbol for the brutal treatment and torture the U.S. rulers dish out to detainees worldwidemany of whom were simply swept up by the U.S. military, FBI, or CIA. The decision to close the Guantánamo prison reflects the political liability it has become for Washington.
Yet the Obama administration has insisted that prisoners from around the world being held at Bagram can be jailed indefinitely without charges and have no right to challenge their detention. The methods of torture the prisoners face are illustrated in the 2002 death of a man many U.S. intelligence officers admit was innocent. He died after being beaten for several days.
While the White House so far talks about closing the prison at Guantánamo, the U.S. government is expanding the Bagram jail to hold more prisoners. The target of Washingtons war on terror is not primarily suspect groups of foreigners or terrorists. Washingtons main target is working people here in the United States as they prepare to confront the growing resistance to the assault on our rights and standard of living. A section of the U.S. ruling class wants to put Guantánamo prisoners on trial in front of U.S. federal courts, laying the basis for more regular use of terrorism charges against working people through the civilian court system.
An increasing layer of working people in the United States can identify with those in Washingtons prisons abroad as the number of workers behind bars within U.S. borders continues to grow.
The U.S. ruling class is trying to set a precedent with its detention practices as they prepare for the class battles they know will come with capitalisms economic and social crises. This is why working people everywhere should demand that Washington close its prison camps now and end arbitrary detentions!
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