Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel is an 11-year inmate at Guantanamo Bay. Now, he is also a New York Times op-ed contributor.
The inmate at the military’s most infamous prison described the daily despair and degradation he and other hunger strikers suffer in an op-ed titled, “Gitmo Is Killing Me.”
“I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds,” he wrote. “I will not eat until they restore my dignity.”
The article, published late Sunday night online, drew swift criticisms from both poles of the political spectrum.
On one side, the ever-pugnacious Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian (and formerly Slate) columnist and an ardent human rights crusader, offered rare praise.
“Kudos to the NYT for publishing one of the most powerful Op-Eds ever,” he tweeted.
“Op-ed by prisoner at
#gitmo. pretty shocking, also bold move by NYT,” tweeted Sophie Sportiche, a web producer for Al Jazeera English.
But leave it to Ari Fleischer, a former spokesman for President George W. Bush, to dismiss the “mainstream media’s” Gitmo coverage alongside that of the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the alleged mass murdering abortionist.
“Interesting 2see today what gets more MSM pick up…Gosnell or al HASAN MOQBEL, Gitmo terrorist, who has an op-Ed in NYT,” he tweeted.
A Times did not immediately respond to our questions about criticism.
But they’ll surely be readying something. It’s only a matter of time before right-wing conspiracy thumpers are claiming the Times colluding with al Qaeda.