Imagine being accused of a crime for which you are innocent, found guilty and sent to prison. That would be possibly one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. You haven’t done what the state says you did, and yet there you are, imprisoned. I can only imagine how much that must weigh on a person when it happens.
Now imagine that you eventually proved you weren’t guilty, the courts agreed that you weren’t guilty, and then you spent the next nine years in prison anyhow. That’s the situation that faced Adnan Latif, who was rounded up in the time following 9/11 and illegally held without charges. He eventually proved he wasn’t guilty of being a terrorist and his release was ordered. Time passed, and now, nine years later, he was still being held because the Obama administration keeps dragging their feet on releasing these people.
So it came as no surprise at all, really, when Latiff was found in his cell, dead of a drug overdose. This man, who had mental problems and had threatened suicide before, was being illegally held in criminal and immoral conditions. It’s no shock that he finally lost hope and killed himself. Really, the surprise is that he didn’t do it sooner.
That he was there in the first place is a moral, ethical, and legal failing of the Bush administration. That he remained there years after his release was authorized was a failing of both Bush and Obama, though to be fair, Obama did try to close GITMO, only to be told by Congress that they weren’t going to allow that to happen. So I guess we can blame them for this guy’s death, too.
In fact, while we’re at it, since this is a representative democracy, why don’t we all accept a portion of the blame? Ultimately we’re the masters of our government. They only do what they think we want. We told them we didn’t want GITMO closed, so they left it open, and look what has happened now.
And we wonder, from time to time, why certain parts of the world hate us.