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Fool me Once, Shame on You; Fool me Twice, Shame on Me

On the 9th anniversary of Guantanamo Bay, the world is left wondering if we have not been deceived by the Obama administration’s promise to close the detention camps. That promise came two years ago, and since that time, Barack Hussain Obama has often referred to the closure of the base in the past tense, “I closed Guantanamo”. It turns out that for many around the world, the desire to believe that Obama would bring real change was all too strong. 10 years of Bush had left the world with a real sense of change.

Unfortunately the detention camps still remain open, and despite Obama’s best efforts to pacify the Muslim world, this single fact cannot be ignored.

However, the impact of the continued detentions is not most significant in terms of what the world thinks, but directly on the men who continue to be detained there. Often in the larger political wrangling, we forget that there is a very human disaster that takes place on a daily basis.

When we consider cases such as that of Shaker Aamer, he has now been detained for 9 years without charge or trial, and during that time he has missed the birth and infancy of his youngest child. The tragedy of his case, is just one of 173, of the men and their families who simply just do not know what their future holds.

My work with Cageprisoners has always emphasised that we need to make the closure of Guantanamo Bay an absolute priority, and it is with that in mind that we continue to try and put pressure on the international community to realise that goal. We have already been fooled once by the silver tongue of Obama, however, if we are fooled again into waiting for his action, then it really will be shame on us.



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About Asim Qureshi

Dr Asim Qureshi is a Human Rights Lawyer and is Co-DIrector of CAGE UK (previously known as Cageprisoners) where he works as the senior researcher. Asim has led investigations into Pakistan, Bosnia, Kenya, Sudan, Sweden, USA and around the UK. With his team of researchers, he has written and published many reports exposing the use of unlawful detention, rendition, and torture in the 'war on terror'. He is also the author of the book, "Rules of the Game: Detention, Deportation, Disappearance". The work analyses the global detention policies in the 'War on Terror' post 11th September 2001 and the impact on those most affected.


  1. Prophecy must be for filled:
    Remember people,The Prophecy must be for filled…these are just some of the signs of the end of time. Allah sees everything people…all we can do is continue to pray for those that simply said ALLAH!,ALLAH!!,ALLAH!!! and got locked up.:( We must turn to ALLAH as instructed in the Qur’an instead of following the Nasara or the New Roman Empire. The fact that majority of the Umma don’t want to follow what ALLAH said..well..what do we expect?. ALLAH specifically shared with us events of the past generations (we were not there),the level of their corruption and what happened to them;generations one after another…my point being;what exactly that ALLAH want us to do that we don’t understand?.

  2. Democracy?
    The comments above are interesting..many people have stated that its not all Obama’s fault that Guantanamo has not yet closed, that he must work within the boundaries and limits as its a democracy. Well Obama was voted in by the people on these promises of change, if he cannot fulfill them to the people (who according to the very purpose of democracy are ‘in power’) throughout his administration, then maybe there is a more fundamental problem, a problem with the system of democracy. Either way, once individuals/parties are voted in, they can always change their stance (e.g. UK and tuition fees) and there is nothing anyone can do about it until the next election (where the same process is repeated).

  3. why would obama want justice for muslims?
    Assalamwalaikum bro asim

    it is very sad to see that the world was duped the first time and now the second time to think that obama will bring change to this world. He will bring peace to the war torn coutries and justice to man. However, the question needs to be asked why would obama want justice for the muslims? dont the muslim lands hold the most amount of resources in the world, isnt the most oil found in these lands? arent the people of these countries fearful of Allah SWT alone and nobody else?
    It is only benefit that drives a capitalistic country like America and obama is only the face for this country. It is beneficial to call innocent muslims terrorists and keep them locked up like animals so people around the world continue to live in fear of them if they were to be released. How else will obama and the Western powers justify their presence in the muslim countries without scaring the world into thinking Islam and muslims are just a nightmare waiting to come true…

  4. It is fine for me to comit a crime because everyone does it now days !!!!!
    It is very sad to see this comment that ooh these other countries have innocents in jails so that in some way makes it fine for USA to continue having innocent people in cages, without even being charged, for 9 long years. People surely it is absurd to say so.

    What is wrong stays wrong regardless of whether someone else is doing it or not!!!!!

    Even if in some way this statement was to be accepted then at least let’s use the same terminology for both regimes if Amr can say that Egypt is corrupt then using his own logic Amr should also say that USA is as corrupt as Egypt is.

  5. As ‘Amr pointed out above, the President is not a monarch or dictator. He has to work with the Congress and to account for the will of the voters. That is how a democracy works. In any event, it was never anticipated that all the “innocents” at Guantanamo would simply be released. If Guantanamo is closed, most will be incarcerated somewhere else without the nice view.

    All of those that could easily be repatriated or released directly have already have left. Only 174 remain as of Nov. 2010. One might look into how many Muslim political prisoners are in Egyptian jails right now.

  6. puppet Obama
    An African American person in the white house was expected to be doing many acts to improve the image of USA spoilt by the George W. Bush and the likes of him.[quote]Barack Hussain Obama has often referred to the closure of the base in the past tense, “I closed Guantanamo”. [/quote]:;) D If You believe him to take any action you are doomed. [quote]Obama is a trick to the world and many dont know. may the good Lord guide us all. [/quote]We should remember that obama is just a puppet in the hands of the corporate world, the zionist lobby, wall street.

  7. I can see why you are adamant that Guantanamo Bay’s closure is purely down to Obama, however America is a democracy therefore Obama has to get his legislations passed through the Senate. The way the government is set up the Senate is where all the power is held, which coincidently the Republicians hold the majority. Things are not always so clear cut. With all the damages and faults the Bush Administration caused over the years it will take loner than 2 years, especially if the Republicans still hold the Senate.

    In Obama recent speech addressing Congress he urged the whole American government, Republicans and all, to work together to ‘govern the people’ rather than concentrate on politics, so that legislations such as the closure of Guantanamo Bay can be easily achieved. I think the American’s are calling it ‘Togetherness’. that hope that he gave to us did not come with a time restriction, I believe that hope has to continue.

    I am glad to see though that people are continuing to fight for the innocent men in Guantanamo Bay and it is even better that we can exercise the freedom to question what is really going on.

  8. What do you expect
    Obama is a president of a DEMOCRACY. This means he has to operate within the bounds and rules of his office which the author of this articles seems not to be able to understand. He’s barely had a chance to do his job. Also, Obama is the President of the United States of America not the world. Being angry at Obama and expecting him to fix the Middle East is like Irish Americans being angry at England for not exporting better beer to the U.S. The countries of the Middle East need to work on cleaning their own houses first and criticize themselves first. Egypt is corrupt. Syria is corrupt. Tunisia is corrupt. Why? because the people are corrupt and allow this sort of corruption to exist.

  9. the person or the power behind him?
    I believe that he may have thought that the CIA would actually close the place, but that was at the start of his administration. after 2 years you can see on the mans face the ravages of the american presidency. A position in which he realises that he has the least control of anyone of americas 300 million citizens. That his putting on a skull cap and promising the zionists another 5 years of aid and vetoes only locked him into the game instead of giving him credits to change something. We should feel sorry for him and those like him, blinded by power and finding no sleep at night, all that blood on his hands. We should remember that the power behind obama, the corporate world, the zionist lobby, wall street, The CIA and Pentagon in general are the real war machine. Hes just another face to take the publics guilt for what the real Murderers are plotting 5-10-20 years ahead.

  10. Muhammad Zamir

    Fool me Once, Shame on You; Fool me Twice, Shame on Me
    Assalamu alikum br. Asim

    Just a small clarification. Bush administraton was for 8 years and not ten as you have mentioned in the article. However, if you are saying that Obama is not different from Bush then in that case we can add another two wasted years of Obama administration and thus total comes to ten years.

  11. My Home
    the world has been decieved by that speech which means they are all blind and they cant hear the voice of the needy. Obama is a trick to the world and many dont know. may the good Lord guide us all.

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