Since so much is made of the allegedly terrible conditions in Guantanamo, we thought it would be enlightening to bring in an opposing view from someone who was there. Of course, we have done this before. This is a related story, speaking of the boy featured in the older story, Naqibullah, but also of another boy, Asadullah. From the Guardian, with thanks to LGF:
Tracked down to his remote village in south-eastern Afghanistan, Naqibullah has memories of Guantanamo that are almost identical to Asadullah’s. Prison life was good, he said shyly, nervous to be receiving a foreigner to his family’s mud-fortress home.
The food in the camp was delicious, the teaching was excellent, and his warders were kind. “Americans are good people, they were always friendly, I don’t have anything against them,” he said. “If my father didn’t need me, I would want to live in America.”
Asadullah is even more sure of this. “Americans are great people, better than anyone else,” he said, when found at his elder brother’s tiny fruit and nut shop in a muddy backstreet of Kabul. “Americans are polite and friendly when you speak to them. They are not rude like Afghans. If I could be anywhere, I would be in America. I would like to be a doctor, an engineer _ or an American soldier.”
This might seem to jar with the prevailing opinion of Guantanamo among human rights groups. An American jail on foreign soil, Guantanamo was designed, according to Amnesty International, to deny prisoners “many of their most basic rights”, which in America would include special provision for the “speedy trial” of juveniles. But, seized in the remotest wilds of violent Afghanistan, the boys knew practically nothing of their rights, and expected less. . . .
Naqibullah’s first 10 days in Guantanamo were the worst of his life, he said. He was put in a tiny cell with a single slit-window as his interrogation continued. Then everything changed. “I was taken to an American general who said, ‘We will educate you and soon you will go home’. And my situation improved.”
Naqibullah, Asadullah and Mohammed Ismail were moved into one large room, which was never locked. They were taught Pashto (their own language), English, Arabic, maths, science, art and, for two months, Islam. “The American soldiers ate pork but they said we must never do that because we were Muslim,” said Naqibullah. “They were very strict about Islam.”