He Would Not Fight Against Other Muslims.

“It should be noted that [Saeed] Hatim’s … disdain for a war in which Muslims were killing other Muslims, was far from unique, and features in many other stories reported in The Guantánamo Files,” is an observation by Andy Worthington about another of the Yemeni foot soldiers still held in the US torture camp in Guantanamo.

From one of the summaries of evidence that passes for part of judicial review of the prisoners still there and reported on Worthington’s website, Hatim “never held a job for more than six months,” relying on his family for support. He went to Afghanistan, not unlike a number of his countrymen, apparently to fight in Chechnya. He “stated he became interested in Russia’s war in Chechnya because he witnessed the oppression on the television,” and “decided to travel there to fight jihad alongside his Muslim brothers.”

Hatim was disappointed with what he found at al-Farouq training center, left it, and ended up near Kabul with a group of Arab fighters, mostly staying at the rear and occasionally delivering food to men on the front lines. This was, of course, in the fighting among the war lords of Afghanistan. It was this war among Muslims that he found disdainful. He had to put off his plans to go to Chechnya to fight the Russians who were persecuting Muslims there, but he did not want to participate in fighting with other Muslims.

It is to be noted, that in none of this is there a hint of his fighting the US or ever wanting to do that. Guantanamo was conceived as an interrogation [read torture] center for the estimated six hundred highest al Qaeda leaders who were suspected of planning the attack on the US.

All of the decision makers in the Bush regime were aware of the fact that Cheney had allowed Musharraf to air lift leaders out of Kunduz as referenced in previous posts. The military personnel actually in charge of the prisoners may not have known that, but US leaders who devised this hellish prison were. Hatim, like all the “foot soldiers” whose stories I am relating here, never was any threat to the US. In fact, many like him from other countries have been released. Only the fact that he is from Yemen keeps him in prison. As Andy says, this is guilt by nationality. You can read Andy’s report here.

How would I like to be imprisoned and tortured because I am a New Yorker or a US citizen? How would you like to be criminalized in any way because of your nationality? What can we do to get Saeed Hatim home to his family and friends?


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