Munich 1933, Heinrich Himmler called an international press conference to announce the opening of Dachau, an internment camp for “Marxists, Communists, and Reichsbannen leaders, who endanger the security of the state”.
Sound familiar? This paranoid logic has been repeated since in South Africa, N.Ireland, Kosovo, and Guantanamo. The camps guarantee a reaction and dissent they attempt to quell. Have we learnt nothing from the lessons of history?
Recent events in the USA offer a further twisted logic. The Senate rejected a gun control bill sighting the rights of law-abiding citizens enshrined in the Constitution. In the same week Boston was in lock down while the perpetrators of the marathon bombs were hunted down.
Annual murders from gun violence average 33,000, and as a result of terrorist activity 17.
Guantanamo Bay was commissioned to intern those who are a threat to ‘the security of the state’. It has 166 detainees of which 94 are currently on hunger strike. Only a small number have actually been charged with any offence. Shaker Aamer faces no charges and was cleared for release in 2007, yet now in his eleventh year he remains in custody. The terms of his release would return him to Saudi Arabia, his birthplace, where it is said he will be imprisoned indefinitely, though a resident of Britain where he has a British wife and four children. He has been on hunger strike for 70+ days.
These actions, which are supported by Britain and other European states, contradict any notion of the Free World and Democracy. It is suggested that Shaker Aamer if released will mount a legal challenge as a witness to physical and psychological torture perpetrated by agents of the ‘Free World’. Such agencies will perceive this as a greater threat to state security hence his continued incarceration at Guantanamo.
Forgive them? They know damn well what they do.