The Guardian photograph showing a contemplative Barrack Obama in the jail where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years is a stark reminder of the many held without trial by the US Government

President Obama on Robben Island

It is made more poignant by the imprisoning in solitary confinement of Bradley Manning who is now on trial and of the likelihood of Julian Assange and  Edward Snowden likely to suffer a similar plight for making public the crimes carried out by US Departments and Agencies.

Mandela was not tortured and even had windows.