America’s Shame

When fearful individuals are attacked, they often lash out, not caring who or what is sacrificed in their desperate struggle to feel safe again.

The same dynamic, we have learned to our eternal shame, also occurs in “fearful societies”: :

“Abdul Razzaq Hekmati was regarded here as a war hero, famous for his resistance to the Russian occupation in the 1980s and later for a daring prison break he organized for three opponents of the Taliban government in 1999.

“But in 2003, Mr. Hekmati was arrested by American forces in southern Afghanistan when, senior Afghan officials here contend, he was falsely accused by his enemies of being a Taliban commander himself. For the next five years he was held at the American military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he died of cancer on Dec. 30.

“The fate of Mr. Hekmati, the first detainee to die of natural causes at Guantanamo, who fruitlessly recounted his story several times to American officials, demonstrates the enduring problems of the tribunals at Guantanamo, say Afghan officials and others who knew him.”

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