Walid Zaid Wanted to Teach Arabic Literature

At the beginning of the Wikipedia page for Walid Zaid, another prisoner still at Guantanmo, there is the following statement.

“The neutrality of this article needs to be checked. This article is largely or entirely based on text from public domain United States government sources. This article may express the point of view of the United States government or may contain an unbalanced critical assessment. It may require editing to put it in compliance with Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy”

The article then begins:

Walid Said Bin Said Zaid is a citizen of Yemen held in extrajudicial detention [emphasis mine]  in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number is 550. Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts reports that Zaid was born in Ta’iz, Yemen, on February 2, 1978.

“As of May 11, 2010, Walid Said Bin Said Zaid has been held at Guantanamo for eight years. …”

That this is the viewpoint of the US government is very damning.  What kind of country claims to be “free,” “democratic” etc. but imprisons and tortures people without judicial review for nearly a decade?  If this is the point of view of the US, it shows how lawless it has become.

Andy Worthington reports that Walid Zaid had finished his last year of college where he studied Arabic literature and wanted to teach that subject.  He went to Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11 hoping to teach in a school there.  Zaid said he attended al-Farouq because his acquaintances said that there was a lot of fighting in Afghanistan and he would need training to defend himself.

If we remember that there were long standing, ongoing wars among Afghan warlords, of whom the Taliban were just one group though they were the government of the country at the time, this is not at all a far fetched statement.  Nor would it be irrational for Zaid to want to support the Taliban, viewed by many as very serious Muslims, as well as teach in that country.

What is known is that Walid Zaid was injured in an air raid of the Tora Bora region after the US invaded, hospitalized in Jalalabad, and then sold into imprisonment and torture at the hands of the US.

It is a gross injustice that this young man should even have been imprisoned and that he has been tortured and continues to be in prison is shameful.

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