On the topic of human rights in America, Focus magazine published an article on or about October 14, 2002, called "Terror II, Alcatraz der Moderne."

Focus reported that a Turk by the name of Murat Kurnaz, as a sign of his sympathy for the Taliban, had traveled from Bremen, Germany to Afghanistan, where he was arrested. Since that time, Confinee JJJFA has been locked up in Guantanamo Bay, minus his rights.

The last sign of life from Kurnaz, aka Confinee JJJFA, was a bent, folded and mutilated postcard, which was dated March 10 and said it was sent from Camp X-Ray. It had taken the American military censor two months, Focus reported, to examine the eight lines written by the Turkish prisoner before they could be forwarded to Bremen. The postcard's author had written, "I don't know when I'll be coming back again. Only God can know that."

Guantanamo Bay has become Alcatraz the Modern. None of its approximately 600 prisoners have ever escaped. With the exception of an insane man who was let go, all are still sitting in cages with no end to captivity in sight.

Now, almost a year after his arrest, the Americans have determined that Kurnaz, "the Bremen detachment of the Taliban", was never a major player in the worldwide Jihad. In the best case, he would have been promoted to one of Bin Laden's Mujhadeen, if he would not have been arrested by the Americans first. Focus reported that Kurnaz was interrogated for months about the Al Quaida network. He couldn't tell what he didn't know, which was nothing.

All to no avail. The Turkish citizen from Germany has yet to see a lawyer, speak with his family or be told what will come of him. So the Americans are doing in Cuba, according to the Focus article, what they have always accused Fidel Castro of doing there: turned it into a No-Man's Land of Rights, where the only laws that apply are whatever serves the interests of the military.

Amnesty International has demanded that the prisoners in Guantanamo be released immediately, or at least have them tried in a proper court of law, as is customary in a legitimate country. The German Defense Ministry has also voiced its opinion to say that indefinite confinement without due process is not compatible with the minimum standards for international human rights. Former US Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher says the proceedings remind him of the situation in Argentina some years ago, where people simply disappeared without a trace.

The German lawyer who represents Murat Kurnaz' family in Bremen says that Guantanamo Bay, legally speaking, is a "black hole," whose prisoners are blatantly being denied the rights of the international legal system. The US government attorneys have responded that the prisoners are being detained by the "authority of the US President," who is the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, and that this is a time of war. Besides, they continue, these are terrorists and their supporters.

In the meantime, Focus reports, doubts have grown as to whether the people detained in Cuba are terrorists or not. Even the Americans have admitted among themselves that they have physical custody of many deadbeats, tag-a-longs and mentally ill. There are those, too, who are there simply because they wanted to fight for Allah, and the Taliban seemed for them to be the best choice.

But now there is a problem, reported Focus. If the Americans were to ever let even one prisoner go, they would have to explain why the others had to stay.

Comment from Joe Cisar

Cults thrive in times of social upheaval and turmoil. Also, on last night's news (October 22, 2002) it was announced that some detainees would be released.

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