Sunday, November 26, 2006

Shaker Aamer

I blogged en passant about this chap (and his four British children) a while back.

He's a bit of a pin-up for the Clive Stafford-Smiths of this world. Big at the BBC and the Guardian, too.

He was working as a solicitor's translator in London and had been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK. He was in the process of applying for British citizenship when he moved, with his family, to Kabul. He says he wanted to live in a Muslim country while his application was processed.

As you do.

There his family shared a house with Moazzam Begg, the Birmingham man who was freed from Guantánamo last year. Shortly after the collapse of the Taliban regime Aamer was captured by Afghan troops ...

"The British government refuses to help me," he wrote during the protest. "I thought Britain stood for justice, but they helped British citizens, and then abandoned us - people who have lived in Britain for years, and who have British wives and children."

How could they ? We owe him, dammit ! Do You Even Care, Mr Blair ?

It's a measure of the stature and magnanimity of the family that even after this diabolical treatment, his wife and children have returned to the UK and are living (on benefits ?) in London. Lesser people might have stayed 'in a Muslim country'.

A few weeks ago there was a longish article in the Sunday Times magazine about the Guantanamera regime, and how a liberal, reforming 'governor', Mike Bumgarner, tried to improve relationships between guards and inmates. Like a civilised human being, he wanted to establish common ground, a modus vivendi - 'don't attack my guards' was one of the more fatuous requests of this decent man.

They did him up like a kipper, after which the reforms were scrapped and Bumgarner replaced. Mr Aamer was a leading actor in said kippering. An interesting read.

In late June this year, Colonel Bumgarner was preparing to give up command. He looked tired, slumped into a chair in his small, cluttered office. “We attempted to improve their lives to the extent that we can – to the point that we may have gone overboard, not recognising the real nature of who we’re dealing with’’ he said.


Anonymous said...

Can't make this stuff up. If you wrote a novel with this plot no one would believe it.

'Stranger than fiction...'

Stupider really.

Anonymous said...

Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first send mad

Anonymous said...

Hi Laban, I've tagged you again, I'm afraid, to tell us about 10 things you've never done.