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The Day of the Iguana; the nightmare of Guantanamo detainees

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This photo at Guantanamo’s Camp Delta prison is the least whitewashed of those at this Defense Department Guantanamo photo webpage. Enlarge this photo only on an empty stomach. I first featured this photo here.

Sahr MuhammedAlly is a Senior Counsel with the Law & Security Program at Human Rights First. On the ACS Blog this week, she detailed her experiences at the second day of last week’s military commission hearing of Salim Hamdan at Guantanamo, Cuba. Ms. MuhammedAlly blogged about the first day of the hearing here.

Both blog entries are important reads for getting a glimpse into what is happening at the Guantanamo hearings. I have already decried the Guantanamo prisons many times.

Now to the title of this blog entry, aside from the movie directed by John Huston: Ms. Muhammed Ally ends her December 10 blog entry as follows: “I would like to note that the U.S. government consistently maintains that the Constitution and other federal laws are inapplicable to Guantanamo. This has allowed the government to strip detainees of the right to habeas corpus, right to counsel, and to seek recourse from ill-treatment. But at Guantanamo I happened to notice that the government applies the Endangered Species Act to the naval base. The act outlines how iguanas must be treated (a 25 mph speed limit is strictly enforced to avoid road kill) and there is a $10,000 fine if anyone is caught harming an iguana. For the 300 human detainees, however, there are no such federal laws to protect their rights.” Now, it is time to apply federal legal rights to the Guantanamo detainees, as well. Jon Katz.

ADDENDUM: Also on the website of Human Rights First is this article about the unreliability of information obtained through torture. Additional articles on this topic are available here.