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The Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice In Guantanamo Bay Hardcover – October 5, 2007
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This book (previously published in the UK as "Bad Men") discloses that a considerable number of the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay were at the time of their capture, and of course still are, totally innocent, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time were sold into captivity by locals greedy for the bounty offered by the US. Amnesty International has published a finding that "hundreds of people" were arbitrarily detained, after the US offered cash payments, in leaflets dropped by American aircraft, for information on Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. This "rewards programme" resulted in a frenetic market in abductees. It is the reason for the false imprisonment of uncounted men and boys in American secret prisons, in secret locations around the world, and at Guantánamo Bay. In an earlier article [in Index on Censorship, "The Archipelago of Gulags," February 2006] Stafford Smith wrote: "The majority of prisoners I represent were not seized in Afghanistan, but purchased in Pakistan for the bounties offered by the US - starting at $5,000." In Pakistan, the per capita annual income is $720.
Torture by US proxies, the book shows, was carried out to obtain confirmation of the alleged status of these purchased captives as terrorists or enemy combatants. One victim of rendition was the 16-years-old Hassan bin Attash, who was rendered to Jordan "for sixteen months of torture" because the US government wanted information about his older brother. He is still imprisoned at Guantánamo.Read more ›
In other words this isn't "Midnight Express", but a look at guantanamo, its rules, the U.S. military, the stories of a few of the detainees and the constitutional and humanitarian issues involved.
The US state uses the `ticking bomb' rationale to try to justify torturing prisoners. But there has never been a single case where torture saved lives by yielding information that prevented the explosion of a ticking bomb.
The US state has also used this rationale to encourage, assist and exploit torture by its allies. Torture in Egypt led to the false confession of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qa'ida, a claim used to try to try to get us to support attacking Iraq. Torture in Morocco led to the US state's allegation of a plot to explode a dirty bomb in New York. The people that US Attorney-General Ashcroft named as responsible were never charged with the plot because, as officials said, that "could open up charges from defence lawyers that their earlier statements were a result of torture." This was to admit that the charges were true.
Under the US military commission's procedures for trying just ten of Guantanamo Bay's prisoners, even if the defendant were acquitted, he could still be held forever because all prisoners are supposedly "enemy combatants that we captured on the battlefield" (administration lawyer); "these are people picked up off the battlefield in Afghanistan" (Bush).
But in the real world, 55% of the prisoners are not even alleged ever to have taken part in hostilities.Read more ›
The Russian show trials were carefully scripted, and designed to give the mostly leftist press in attendance and the rest of the world through media coverage the impression that the rules of law were being followed and that justice was indeed being carried out. Much of the world wanted to believe that the deviationist wreckers were truly guilty and deserved the ultimate punishment for trying to sabotage the workers' paradise. Reading Smith's book will show that the Stalinists were not the only ones who loved carefully scripted show trials before handpicked judges.
There is, as I've said, much that is different. In Russia, a popular sentence was "exile, without right of communication", a hypocritical euphemism for being shot in the cellars. In Guantanamo, as you'll see in the book, "detention, without right of communication", is not a sentence from a judge at a two-minute hearing, as in Russia.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clive Stafford Smith's "Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side" is one of the most readable of the spate of books about GITMO. Read morePublished on October 4, 2010 by Dienne
This book is about the prisoners at Guantanamo Mr. Smith represented, and by extension many more whose stories touched those of his clients. Read morePublished on February 5, 2010 by Paul Siemering
This is a great book from start to finish. It is a hard hitting truth about the outragous behaviour that has meant people have been tortured by "civilized" coutries that should... Read morePublished on August 17, 2009 by Gary N. Frost
The author, Clive Stafford Smith, draws on his experience as lawyer for over 50 Guatánamo prisoners to offer a damning account of the Bush and Blair governments' outrageous... Read morePublished on April 13, 2009 by AlR
Well written account by a death penalty defense lawyer of his experiences trying to defend Gitmo detainees. Read morePublished on February 27, 2009 by Stephen Harlen
I'm not generally a non-fiction fan. I purchased this book after it was recommended by The Economist (without question, my favorite periodical). Read morePublished on December 30, 2008 by Klide
Tragic book, very well written. I suspect all of it is true. If 10% is true, people who care about America need to tell our leaders that things must change now. Read morePublished on June 14, 2008 by Bruce R. Pfaff
In vivid, engaging prose uncommon among attorney authors, Clive Stafford Smith offers a startling first-hand account of America's most well-known gulag: the prison camps at... Read morePublished on May 9, 2008 by EGD