The Lingering Stain of Guantanamo
Today begins the tenth year of an abomination — the prison camp our country created at Guantanamo.
Where are the prophets to address this abomination?
Reaching back to the Eighth Century B.C., we find Isaiah, the greatest of the prophets, mincing no words about the task before us.
This past Sunday, a passage of Isaiah 42 read at most churches spoke directly to God's call to "bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness."
But how many preachers dared apply Isaiah to Guantanamo? Witness Against Torture does so today, in the form of a witness in front of the White House and a march to the Department of Justice.
Below are remarks that I prepared for today's witness, speaking from an abridged, but faithful, version of Chapter 42.
I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of Justice, …
To bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. …
I have been looking away, keeping silent,
holding myself in;
But now, I cry out as a woman in labor,
gasping and panting.
I will lead the blind on their journey;
by paths unknown I will guide them.
I will turn darkness into light before them,
and make crooked ways straight. …
“This is a people despoiled and plundered,
all of them trapped in holes,
hidden away in prisons.
"They are taken as booty, with no one to rescue them,
as spoil, with no one to demand their return.
“Who of you gives ear to this?
who listens and pays heed?”
Isaiah confronts us with God’s key question: WHO CARES?
Response: WE DO! WE CARE!
We demand the release of those hidden away in prisons. We demand their return, to rescue not only them, but also the soul of our nation.
Ray McGovern served as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for thirty years. He works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington and also serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
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