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Showing posts from April 4, 2021

Restoring Dignity

Now engaged to be married, selling cars now for a living, he steps back from the camera. His Abu Gharib ID bracelet is offered to view, a photo of him on the bracelet is faded and yet coiled in his open palm--the bracelet is evidence. They forced him to lie down in urine and feces, kicking him in the side until he fainted. Photography was part of the torture.  Chris Bartlett's Iraqi Detainees Photography Project recognized that photography was part of torture, used to objectify the men, further their humiliation. Passed around among the guards, the images later went worldwide. The images featured in his exhibition do the long work of repair, restoring dignity to these same men.  If there is something to be said about finding God in these images, finding God from a particular liturgical community of praxis, grounded in the work of resistance, let me step back from the image into the following two points of the present viewing. First, Easter is a time for the Church to celebrate the

Men in Guantánamo

 In darkness and protracted isolation, 39 men are prisoners of War in Guantánamo. Two of them were among the first 20 men to arrive on Jan. 11, 2002, Ali Hamza al Bahlul, who Carol Rosenberg reports is "the only prisoner there currently convicted of a war crime, and he is serving a life sentence, The other is a Tunisian man, Ridah bin Saleh al Yazidi, 56, who was cleared to go years ago but who has refused to cooperate with efforts to repatriate or resettle him." -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-   Minus the release July 19, 2021 of Abdul Latif Nasir (Morocco), 5 remain held in Law-of-War Detention but Recommended for transfer if security conditions are met. 7 were Charged in Military Commissions System; 2 were convicted in Military Commissions System; 3 have been proposed for a dubious trial in Military Commissions System*; 22 others remain held in so-called Indefinite Law-of-War Detention and to the forever life of Guantánamo are deemed Not Recommended for Transfer. *The Convening Authority

Crucified Victims and Desecrated Earth

Photo shared by Art Laffin of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker with banner outside the Pentagon Good Friday, April 2, 2021       Today we mourn to mobilize and disrupt modern day crucifixions. (Revised from original script prepared by Art Laffin for vigil at Pentagon).  Crucified Victim #1--Victim of Torture   Jesus was a torture victim who was condemned by religious authorities and executed by the Roman empire. We remember all torture victims, past and present, who have suffered and died from the effects of torture. We remember those prisoners who died at secret U.S. military black sites, as well as the nine men who died at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo.  Last year Djamel Ameziane, a former Guantánamo prisoner, was legally and morally vindicated as the first complaint related to the "war on terror" in which the US was found responsible to a victim of torture, according to  the long awaited decision May 27, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) .      Let us c