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No beacon for anyone to see

The Americans are forever lecturing other countries how they must ensure the prevalence of the Rule of Law and other democratic principles. 

Thing is, though, the Americans are hardly a beacon to others to follow.     Read this piece "The Harrowing Tale of Ahmed Abu Ali" on CounterPunch and be agog, and aghast, at the so-called American justice system in action.   

The man in question has been convicted and sentenced to life.    The conviction is clearly plain wrong! - as independent experts have repeatedly asserted.    But reflect on how the prisoner, behind bars, is being treated now.

"Ahmed is currently incarcerated in an isolation cell at the Supermax prison in Colorado. He is being held under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), which restrict his contact with people, limit certain “privileges,” including, but not limited to: correspondence, visits, media interviews and telephone use, and require screening of his reading material. Under these measures, he was even denied in 2008 permission to read President Obama’s two books, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, on the grounds that the books contained material “potentially detrimental to national security.”

Recently Ahmed’s younger sister, Mariam told a magazine that her brother has spent the past six years “in solitary confinement, under 23-hour lockdown, in a 7×12 cell. He has one recreational hour in which he must get strip-searched if he wishes to leave his cell. He gets one unscheduled telephone call a month to his family, and receives the newspaper by the time news becomes history. If I send him a letter wishing him a happy birthday, he gets it 60 days later. When I visit him, once a year, I speak to him from behind a glass window. He is literally in a dungeon, over 20 meters (65 feet) beneath the ground.”

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