While the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now known as the Department of Homeland Security, was trying to deport me, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. was arranging an exhibit honoring my contributions to hip-hop culture and society at large.
The military released 198 photos, a small part of those sought by the ACLU that purport to show damning detainee abuse.
Acknowledgment accompanied by justice and accountability helps restore that sense of control. But for national security detainees held by the U.S. government and its proxies, justice and accountability are being systematically denied as a matter of law.
In short, there is a problem with justice in the United States. Government resources are used to protect the privileged, and crimes are largely excused when they are committed by police, private security contractors, members of the U.S. military or intelligence agents.
The Obama administration is withholding hundreds, perhaps even thousands of photographs showing the U.S. government’s brutal
Force-feeding started at Guantanamo in response to fear that self-starving captives would stir anti-American ire. It would be ironic were this response itself to rouse worldwide outrage, making allies less likely to collaborate with us and stiffening our enemies' resolve.
It is time that the truth about U.S. government-sponsored torture sees the light, that our nation openly deals with the legal and moral consequences of our past policies, and that once and for all, we relegate torture to where it belongs -- shameful history never to be repeated.
In his Senate confirmation hearing, Thursday, CIA director nominee John Brennan noted that the United States "needs to make sure we are setting a standard for the world."
It's not clear what national security interest is served at this point by continuing to hide what U.S. officials did to people detained after the September 11 attacks, other than to avoid U.S. embarrassment.
There are no words to express my disgust at the video making the rounds today, of U.S. Marines apparently urinating on the dead bodies of the Taliban.