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British Ask: `Will Obama Forgive Britain for Torture of His Grandfather?'

March 10, 2009 (EIRNS)—The question of whether President Obama would forgive the British for the torture they meted out to his grandfather, was raised by the London Evening Standard right before Obama's inauguration. In a Jan. 16 article, a graphic description is provided of the two years of imprisonment and sadistic torture of Obama's grandfather by the British, which took place in a high-security British prison in Kenya from 1949 to 1951. The account may provide some insight into Obama's coolness toward the British, and into current British sensitivities about what they consider to be their "shabby" treatment by the Obama White House.

Hussein Onyango Obama had served as a cook for a British Army captain during World War II, and spent three years in Burma, Ceylon, and Arabia. But this didn't help him when he was accused of being a "subversive" and of passing information to the fledgling independence movement which later developed into the Mau-Mau movement.

Hussein Obama was "whipped every morning and evening" for two years, according to family members, who described the sadistic British practices used against Obama and other prisoners. "They would sometime squeeze his testicles with metal rods. They also pierced his nails and buttocks with a sharp pin, with his hands and legs tied together. He was lucky to survive. Some of his fellow inmates were mutilated with castration pliers and beaten to death with clubs."

The brutal treatment left the senior Obama "prematurely aged," with "permanent physical scars" and "a lifelong loathing of the British," family members told the Evening Standard.

In his book, Dreams from my Father, now-President Obama quotes Sarah as describing how her husband was arrested and taken to the prison, which was likened to a death camp. "This was the time we realized the British were actually not friends but enemies," she told her grandson. "My husband had worked so diligently for them, only to be arrested and detained. It left him bitterly anti-British for the rest of his life."