Guantanamo detainees not “persons,” will be force-fed during Ramadan

Om nom nom.

Om nom nom.

We don’t know exactly how many, because releasing such information would jeopardize national security, but approximately 100 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike. Last week, a DC district court rejected the petition of four prisoners to cease force-feeding during the ┬ámonth of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But don’t worry: prison administrators will only forcibly nourish prisoners through neogastric tubes when it’s dark out. If you read down a few paragraphs in the Guardian article, you will also find this:

US government lawyers also argued that the detainees bringing the case, Shaker Aamer, Nabil Hadjarab, Ahmed Belbacha and Abu Wa’el Dhiab, are not “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and are therefore not protected under it.

Fans of War on Terror jurisprudence will be interested to learn that lawyers for the federal government have made this argument since 2006.

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Friday links! How can I miss you when you won’t go away edition

Goddammit, no.

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to look back on that which is about to become the week that was. Peculiarly, it’s been a week of nostalgia for the man pictured above. You might remember him from such bold leadership initiatives as turning a budget surplus into a multitrillion-dollar debt, deregulating the financial industry, awarding no-bid contracts to corporate cronies in two wars whose duration currently exceeds that of World War II, and arguing passionately in favor of torture. Or you might just remember that he talked like you and wasn’t black. It all depends on your perspective, and for a president who left office with a 38% approval rating, George W. Bush has enjoyed a surprising resurgence lately. It’s almost as if the good people of America articulated their political thoughts entirely in terms of being against things, and/or had no recollection of events beyond the past year. Of course, it’s also possible that the whole thing is made up; you probably also remember the national media that told us the war in Iraq was going to be quick and easy, then told us that no one could have predicted the problems in Iraq, then pilloried the Bush administration for messing up Iraq before alleging that Obama’s presidency is foundering on his inadequate commitment to same. It’s all a rich tapestry, which has fallen from the wall into a pile of rat feces, and we serfs can only peer upward and try to deduce the movements of the heavens using our astrolabes or whatever. It’s throwback time. Won’t you shudder in ignorant terror with me?

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