Give The Man His Poetry

My attention was first drawn to the plight of Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost by an article posted yesterday by Aine Macdermot here. In brief, this Afghani man was held in Guantanamo for three years as an “enemy combatant” before being sent before a military tribunal, whereupon he was released and sent home without so much as an “Oops! Sorry about that.” In the various articles online about his case, he actually seems pretty mellow about the whole thing…except that our military promised him he would be given back all the poetry he had written while being detained, and he never has. What follows is my letter to the Department of Defense and contacts at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Be assured that if I ever hear anything back, I will let you know. It has been said in the comment thread that follows the original article that this is a small thing, less important than securing the release of the rest of the prisoners held in Guantanamo. I certainly will not suggest that this is not true. However, sometimes small things are exemplary of the larger issues. In this case, the callous indifference of the military to this man’s work is indicative of our general disregard for the humanity of people we regard as “enemies”

If you are inclined to follow suit and send a letter of your own, they can be sent to:

pao@usnbgtmo.navy.mil — Guantanamo
http://www.defenselink.mil/faq/comment.html — DOD

If you have any ideas for other folks to contact, please fee free to post them here.

To Whom It May Concern:

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Open Letter To Senator Richard Burr

Dear Mr. Senator,

I recently wrote to you to express my concern about the NSA program of warrantless wiretapping. I presented you with specific and reasonable arguments as to why this was an unjustified and unnecessary invasion of the privacy of American citizens.

I found your pre-carved response to me unsatisfying, Mr. Senator. I listed examples from FISA regulations, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I explained in great detail why I felt that this program was illegal, as well as immoral. I asked for your consideration of my concerns when you returned to Congress to confront the weakened position in which you, like all U.S. Congressmen, find yourself in this current epoch of our government’s development.

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