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Releasing the Prisoner: Guantánamo Survivor's Fund & Special Envoy Appointed

 You might have seen this ongoing action by Mansoor Adayfi, author of Don't Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo (Hachette 2021). On Day two, Biking around the country of Serbia, where he was sent from Guantanamo, he is raising money for the Guantanamo Survivor's Fund campaign through CAGE.

This marks the second campaign for Survivors. Donations of $200 to the Guantánamo Survivors Fund received a signed copy of Dr. Maha Hilal's book Innocent Until Proven Muslim:Islamophobia, The War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience since 9/11 (Broadleaf Books 20221) Guantanamo Survivors Fund campaign through No More Gitmos.

U.S. context shift: On this issue, since the quiet release of 5 men just before the 20th anniversary of Guantánamo's opening, this is the latest good news of President Biden (WSJ here) : finally restoring a special envoy for Guantánamo within the State Department--Tina Kaidanow. The last to do this work was Lee Wolosky who spoke about convincing countries to take the men in Guantánamo in a video posted on Witness to Guantanamo (here).

In keeping with recommendation 4 of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Ethics and Rule of Law's 13 point strategy to Close Guantánamo--they called for the restoration of the special envoy within the Department of State whose task it should be "to work exclusively to close Guantánamo as a national priority." It's up to us to mobilize the Biden Administration change from quiet resolve to moving for closure as a national priority.

I wonder if keeping quiet about this is a rhetorical device and a means of airbrushing. Justice delayed is justice denied. "We know that each of the 9-11 defendants were tortured" as Colleen Kelly of 9-11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows said in the December 2021 hearing before Congress (Testimony here). We need to prepare ourselves so that the 23rd anniversary of Guantánamo be a ripe gathering. It comes down to what we put up with, whether we are ready or willing to tolerate spend $540 million a year housing 36 prisoners of war. 

If "we define safety and security in a way that doesn't thrive or rely on state violence" Dr. Maha Hilal writes in Innocent Until Proven Muslim then we can begin "recognizing the myriad and pervasive ways in which the War on Terror has facilitated the institutionalization of Islamophobia into law and policy and concretely challenging these structures systemically and in all of their manifestations" (263). Recognizing what Mansoor Adayfi has survived and where we have to make reparations go hand in hand for Dr. Hilal with "uprooting the structures of the War on Terror from their foundations." Please consider donating to the Guantánamo Survivor's Fund with an abolitionist lens.

Christopher Spicer Hankle

Time sensitive action alert: please post daily on your organization's social media

Mansoor Adayfi, Guantanamo survivor exiled in Serbia, is doing a 4-day bike ride around the country to close Guantanamo and raise money for other former detainees in dire circumstances in countries around the world.  
Dates: Oct 5-8
Follow at: 
Donate to his Guantanamo Survivors Fund campaign through CAGE


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