2.23.2009

updates on war resister suzanne swift, former guantánamo guard brandon neely

Suzanne Swift, war resister and sexual assault and harassment survivor, has finally been discharged from the military. Swift was court martialled and spent almost a month in a military jail rather than redeploy to Iraq. She continued to serve in the military, but successfully resisted redeployment. She is now a proud member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Courage to Resist has an excellent audio interview with Swift. If you're interested in the treatment of women in the military, and in military resistance in general, find 17 minutes of your day and listen here. [I've written about Swift several times; you can find updates in old posts in the "war resister" category.]

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Brandon Neely served in Iraq and was also a guard at the US concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay. When the Army tried to reactivate him through the Individual Ready Reserve, Neely refused to go. He's now the president of the Houston chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Neely participated in the Guantánamo Testimonials Project at the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, part of the University of California at Davis. You can read his testimony here.

I haven't brought myself to read it yet, as my stomach is still knotted from trying to watch "Taxi To The Dark Side". Here's the intro.
In this interview, Specialist Neely provides testimony of the arrival of the detainees in full sensory-deprivation garb, sexual abuse by medical personnel, torture by other medical personnel, brutal beatings out of frustration, fear, and retribution, the first hunger strike and its causes, torturous shackling, positional torture, interference with religious practices and beliefs, verbal abuse, restriction of recreation, the behavior of mentally ill detainees, possible isolation regime of the first six children in GTMO, utter lack of preparation for guarding individuals detained during the War on Terror, and his conversations with prisoners David Hicks and Rhuhel Ahmed.

This update on US war resisters in Canada, by Courage To Resist's Sarah Lazare, also ran on Common Dreams.

2 comments:

Cornelia said...

Thank God Suzanne Swift is out of the military now. Finally. I am so glad and relieved. Thanks so much for letting us know.

Cornelia said...

I just got this link from NOW on the issue of military sexual harassment:

http://www.now.org/news/note/040609.html