After a wonderful 12 days at the CodePINK House in DC, I received one of the most awesome gifts I've ever gotten. Adel Hamad's attorney, William Teesdale, wrote to me to let me know that he is free and home with his family.
It all started when I decided some time ago that I simply had to do something about the horror happening in my name at Guantanamo prison.
I found a detainee named Adel Hamad, #940, and started to stand for him in orange jumpsuit, black chains and black hood. Not long after that my dear friend Liz (Arizona coordinator and full time DC House CODEPINKer) and I joined our efforts. We learned all we could about Adel.
He was a hospital worker in Afghanistan with family and friends galore. A hard working family man dedicated to helping others at work and in his community. He had 2 grandchildren when he was arrested - 4 more were born during the 5 years he was at GITMO. He was taken from his bed in the middle of the night and someone in his village was paid $25,000 by our government to turn him in. This was an easy U.S. campaign in a country where the average pay is less than $300 a year. America did not know that the hooded and chained men being transferred roped together like animals were not all terrorists who hated us - many were and are still innocent men.
College students started an Internet campaign called Project Hamad - they printed tee shirts and petitions and pressed forward for his release.
Last year he was so discouraged that he stopped seeing his attorney, William Teesdale, and started to suspect that he was being betrayed by William. Adel started to go blind from looking thru chain link fence for so long. He had been tortured for years, lived in a small windowless room and was at the end of his rope. Thanks to the persistence and dedication of Mr. Teesdale, Adel came back into the program and found the courage to carry on. You can imagine the joy in Mr. Teesdale's e-mail that Adel was, finally, free.
It's impossible to express the joy Dave and I are feeling tonight knowing that Adel is home with his family, friends and love ones. Dave's support is the reason I can run around like I do. CODEPINK's support, ideas and continuous courage helps me to do outrageous things to get the message to the press. And, special loving relationships with women like Liz make it possible to carry on. Her courage in Congress, day after day is such an inspiration - I remember like yesterday the day she said she would help with the effort to free Adel. We were at the 1st DC CODEPINK house.
My message tonight is - know that what we do is making a difference and changing the world. Even the small effort of focusing on one person at a time can bring huge, positive change. Our country is in trouble and our charge is gigantic. Knowing that an innocent man if free tonight brings the kind of peace in my heart that we all hope for everyday.
The only greater joy will be when our troops are coming home to stay, for good. Peace Lydia