The Destruction of Tariq Ba Odah by the United States of America


Tariq Ba Odah has been convicted of nothing.

He has nonetheless spent 13 years inside Guantanamo living in a cage, and he is dying. The United States refuses to release him. He now weighs only 75 pounds.

So you know, the photo here shows an American POW from WWII who weighed 75 pounds.

A lawyer for Tariq Ba Odah has asked a federal judge to order his release because of his “severe physical and psychological deterioration.” On Friday, for the third time, the Justice Department asked a judge to extend its deadline to respond, saying the administration needed another week “to further consider internally its response to petitioner’s motion.”

Tariq Ba Odah, in Guantanamo with no trial and no conviction and no hope of release otherwise accordingly, has been on a hunger strike since 2007 and now weighs less than 75 pounds. He is living testimony that the United States continues to torture its enemies. He is living testimony that the United States fears 75 pound men.


So you know, the photo here shows people from a WWII concentration camp who weighed 75 pounds.

Tariq Ba Odah has been held in Guantanamo for more than 13 years. The Pakistani Army captured him along the Afghan border, and he is accused of having gone to the region to fight with the Taliban and of having received some weapons training.

In his U.S. government file, he is “assessed” to have been an Islamic extremist and a “possible member” of al Qaeda. It says he “probably” manned a mortar at Tora Bora in Afghanistan. He is “reported” to have been an “important man” with al Qaeda. The file notes that he watching videos on TV about the bombing of the USS Cole, information worth including apparently.

It seems incongruous that an important man in al Qaeda would have the job of mortarman.

It is likely that tens of thousands of young men, maybe more, fought and continue to fight against the United States in Afghanistan. Only a handful are in Guantanamo. Vengeance 14 years after 9/11 is impersonal and arbitrary and thus somehow even more evil.


So you know, the photo here shows a dog that has been starved to the edge of death.

As far as releasing Tariq Ba Odah, the New York Times reports State Department officials say that the government should not oppose his release, citing his medical condition and the incongruity of sending American diplomats to ask other countries to take in such detainees even as the Justice Department fights in court to prolong their detention.

But Defense Department officials say that not contesting Ba Odah’s lawsuit would create an incentive for other detainees to stop eating, causing problems at the military-run prison. Justice Department litigators, who the Times claims have the job of “defend[ing] the government’s authority, are also fighting Ba Odah’s petition.

Why do educated men and women at the Department of Justice, cognizant of the irony of their actions given the name of where they work, do this? They’ll say, perhaps to themselves in some death-bed moment of desperate remorse, that they were only following orders. One hopes their god is more understanding, because we have heard that one before at Nuremberg.

Despite continued forcing of food up Ba Odah’s anus or down into his stomach against his will and under restraint, Ba Odah appears to have developed an underlying medical problem that is preventing his body from properly absorbing nutrition no matter how much he is force-fed. The U.S. continues to force-feed him nonetheless.

At this point someone will be asking: why doesn’t Ba Odah just eat?

It is likely Ba Odah himself has thought about the same question. In my former career working for the Department of State, I was responsible for the welfare of arrested Americans abroad. Many threatened hunger strikes for reasons ranging from superficial to very serious. However, in my 24 years of such work, only one prisoner carried it out for more than a day or two, taking only small sips of water for a week. His captors, one of America’s closest allies in Asia, choose to not force-feed him, stating due to the nature of his “political crime” (espionage) that they’d prefer to see him die.

During my daily visits I watched the man starve to death in real-time. It requires extraordinary will and strength to do that, pushing back against all of evolution and biology screaming inside your head to just eat. Close to death, the man choose to stay alive and eat for the sake of his family. It is no casual decision to do what Tariq Ba Odah is doing. Something very important must be at stake for a man to do what Tariq Ba Odah has done.

For eight years.

And for those who have trouble with the images, I’ll suggest you not support the politicians and policies that create them. And just because you don’t look at them, that doesn’t make them go away for the real people in Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.


  • WMW,
    it’s also important to note that the prisoners of the WAR on terror are not given the rights accorded to POW’s under the GC’s.
    jim hruska

  • bloodypitchfork on said:

    In a sane, rational universe, the animals responsible for this war crime, would be hung until dead or shot. Just like the Nazi’s. In our universe, the United States of Depravity yawns.

    This atrocity redefines the word psychopathic.

    Now excuse me while I puke.

  • Helen Marshall on said:

    It’s called dignity and self-respect. He refuses to submit to his captors. And the administration makes all of us complicit. It is sickening. Thank heavens for the Center for Constitutional Rights (kind of an oxymoron these days…) which is defending him.

  • He’s not officially a prisoner of war- he is an enemy combatant which I believe puts him outside any Geneva Convention aegis. Very Cheneyesque I know.

  • bloodypitchfork on said:

    quote”He’s not officially a prisoner of war- he is an enemy combatant ”

    ALLEGED enemy combatant. UNTIL proven by a “court of law”.. which we all know is the most monumental fraud upon those who unfortunate enough to, as fighters against the USG, get captured and tortured their entire life.

    Here is the real question. At what point do you really believe your taxes are being spent in the benevolence of those who pay them? I would submit.. you are an idiot if you believe what you are being told. Of course..anyone visiting Peter’s site..already knows.

    Meanwhile..I will only say ..fuck the UNITED STATES OF DEPRAVITY.

    • Gentlemen, please, no fighting in the war room!

      Jokes aside, I’d argue that the term “human being” supersedes any argument about the difference between prisoner of war and enemy combatant. Just like the way we treat our pets reflects the people we are, the way we treat those in our control does the same. Think what you wish about any of the people in Gitmo. This all is as much about us and who we are as it is about them.

  • bloodypitchfork on said:

    “Jokes aside, I’d argue that the term “human being” supersedes any argument about the difference between prisoner of war and enemy combatant”unquote

    Dammit. I was trying to get to that point in the first place. Thanks. However, i would argue that the term human being applies to the detainees…not their captors.

  • bloodypitchfork on said:

    Speaking of sadistic psychopaths that torture, …looks like the APA just voted to refute any endorsement or help to USG “national security interrogations”. Unfortunately, those of the Military variety, became outraged and have suggested they might branch off. You know… to give some veneer of “legitimacy” to those fucking animals in our government who continue to torture. Fuck them.

  • bloodypitchfork on said:

    ps…. Oh. My. God. Looks like there might be a few sane judges in Murica after all…

    “The court took this opportunity to remind the nation that the rule of law and the rights of human beings, whether citizens or not, must not be sacrificed in the face of national security hysteria.”

    I pray these “officials” get their fucking ass kicked. One way or another. Now if only Bernie would have them prosecuted. Along with the rest of those degenerate war criminals.

  • bloodypitchfork on said:

    Let me make something clear here. As for terrorists who have murdered human beings, I’m no different than any other person who thinks they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, the USG has taken a different route. Torture, and indefinite detention WITHOUT CHARGING THEM, makes the USG no different than the terrorists. Either we have rule of law, or we don’t. In this case..we don’t. We only have revenge. Which is exactly what Dubya wanted. Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo are living proof.

  • To all,
    since we’re doing a drive by on war criminals, then why not talk about McCain.
    He bombed civilian infrastructure targets in a nation state without benefit of a declaration of war.
    Collateral damage was greater than the military value of the situation. We bomb to destroy civilians will to fight.
    Since PVB did essays on Hiro and Naga, it seems clear that these were also criminal acts, so we didn’t pop any cherries in the PWOT.
    In the Phillipines the US Army raped, plundered and pillaged. We tortured the captives and executed them in large numbers, so whats new pussycat?
    It didn’t start with W, and it won’t end with him.
    Lets ask a question here-what will we do when we capture IS soldiers(riflemen)?
    Better yet, what will they do when they capture US prisoners?
    jim hruska

  • teri on said:

    First you need to find out who ISIS is exactly, who is funding them and who is arming them.

    You may find the same powers behind them that were behind the US atrocities in the Philippines, Haiti, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam……

    It does make it easier to conduct the war-crimes trials, though, given that it’s all the same defendants.

  • jhoover on said:

    teri Said:

    First you need to find out who ISIS is exactly, who is funding them and who is arming them.

    teri Said:

    First you need to find out who ISIS is exactly, who is funding them and who is arming them.

    Well very very surprising till now some still don’t know who funding ISIS, from were those fighters coming and who behind them?

    Please in short you need to know that very close allies to the west like Qatarhere and Kuwait also Saudis.

    I know you served in Iraq and may be another places in ME, but do been served in Saudi Arabia?
    I wonder if you did, can you tell what sort of people those who may have the opportunity to meet for those western educated guys (not normal Saudi people)?

  • jhoover on said:

    That photo of the dog, remind me of this story

    I told by my friends who studied on Microwave radar station,that an experiment done to find what the effects on the human if exposed to those radiant Microwave for a period of time.

    So they used dog for that experiment exposed him for 10 min, after that what happen to the dog which he died after Ten day, before he died he lost his hair became week and skinny just that photo.

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