Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 26, 2009


Ingrid Melander, Reuters - The United States must not allow its Bagram military base in Afghanistan to become a new Guantanamo Bay if it wants European Union help to close the prison on Cuba, a confidential EU policy document says.

In one of his first acts in office, President Barack Obama ordered the closure within one year of Guantanamo Bay, where about 245 people are held and which has been widely viewed as a stain on the U.S. human rights record.

But Obama has yet to decide what to do about the jail at Bagram, where more than 600 prisoners are held, or whether to continue work on a $60 million prison complex there.

"The Guantanamo camp cannot simply be transferred somewhere else," said the document obtained by Reuters.

"It would not be in conformity with EU fundamental rights policies to simply transfer Guantanamo elsewhere (i.e. in Bagram) without solving the underlying question of the detention of terror suspects for indefinite time and without trial."

The Obama administration said last week it would not deviate from the Bush administration's position that detainees held at Bagram have no right to sue in U.S. courts.

The confidential paper said EU help over Guantanamo -- meaning agreement to accept discharged prisoners who could not be sent home for fear of torture -- would depend on Washington's overall anti-terrorism policies, including assurances that Bagram or other camps would not become new Guantanamos.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're EXPANDING Bagram, aren't they?

I hope this "financial crisis" finally means there is simply no money left to throw down those ratholes called the Pentagon and CIA.

March 1, 2009 9:59 AM  

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