WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 1-12-17 Brutal GTMO Commander Tapped for Homeland Security Chief
1-12-17 Brutal GTMO Commander Tapped for Homeland Security Chief PDF Print E-mail

From a presentation made by San Francisco World Can't Wait on Jan. 11, 2017 at the rally and march on the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo prison.

Some of you may ask why we have chosen today’s venue for observance of the 15th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay concentration camp. We stand outside the San Francisco offices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protest Donald Trump’s selection of a former commander of the infamous U.S. torture prison to secure continued use of that facility. General John Kelly shares the president-elect’s determination to keep the prison open, to “load it up with some bad dudes,” as Trump puts it.

Tuesday’s "lovefest," as Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota described the confirmation hearing for DHS Secretary Kelly, demonstrates willful collaboration of Congress to institutionalize the surveillance state and war machine of the Obama administration. The current program of false imprisonment cultured under pretext of U.S. exception to international law is expected to expand upon Trump’s coronation; the interests of humanity demand us to resist, to say NO! to white supremacy and anti-immigrant hysteria attending the fraudulent election of Donald Trump.

Acquiescence to illegitimate power is predicated by determined suppression of truth. Platitudes of profound respect for the law — "I have never had a problem speaking truth to power,” said Kelly in his opening statement to the Senate committee — ring hollow when examining the candidate’s history:

General Kelly clashed with President Obama over Guantanamo, calling closure of the facility a “bad idea.” While commander of U.S. Southern Command, the general sought $200 million to rebuild prison facilities and housing for guards.

Immigrants’ rights activists oppose the appointment of a retired general “who oversaw a prison plagued with allegations of human rights abuses to lead a civilian agency criticized for alleged human rights abuses,” reports Franco Ordonez to the Miami Herald.

Kelly ordered that the number of hunger-striking prisoners (about 100 captives had gone on a hunger strike in 2013 when they felt the U.S. military disrespected their copies of the Quran; as many as 46 were tube-fed on a single day) be kept secret.

“Homeland security programs should not paint individuals’ national origin or religion as suspicious,” says Margaret Huang, executive director for Amnesty International USA. “Fear and hate do not make Americans safer.”

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