US outdoes Israel in response to Guantanamo
Israel once stood unrivaled in the audacity of its statements following its cruel and inhumane treatment of Palestinians. But, the US has truly outdone them with its response to three suicides at Guantanamo.
A MILITARY investigation into the suicides of three inmates at Guantanamo Bay was under way yesterday as American officials sought to counter international condemnation over the deaths, dismissing them as a “PR stunt” aimed at discrediting the US.It can get neither more appalling nor more absurd than this. It appears that Americans have sold their souls and can no longer redeem them.
The suicides by hanging of the three men, two Saudis and one Yemeni, on Saturday sparked renewed calls from foreign governments and human rights groups for the military facility to be closed or moved.Hobbled by international conventions??? Bush and his cronies don't even let common decency deter them, let alone international conventions.
About 465 foreign nationals are being held there without charge, some for almost four years. Yesterday, however, Colleen Graffy, a senior State Department official, dismissed the suicides as a “good PR move to draw attention” and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause”.
The camp commander described the men as dangerous extremists would go to any lengths to become martyrs. “They are smart, they are creative, they are committed,” Rear Admiral Harry Harris said. “This was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”
“Asymmetrical warfare” is a military term to describe how a much weaker opponent may adopt unorthodox tactics to defeat a conventionally stronger enemy. [Up to and including suicide by hanging.] Since September 11, 2001, the term has been adopted by neoconservatives to describe what they see as an unfair fight between terrorists and an America hobbled by international conventions.
The deaths have come as a huge embarrassment for the Bush Administration amid mounting calls for the facility’s closure and ahead of a potentially fateful Supreme Court decision this month. Human rights groups denounced yesterday the officials’ remarks as callous. “These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly,” Kenneth Roth, of Human Rights Watch, said. “There’s no end in sight. They are not being charged and convicted for any crime.”Depending on how "harsh" the measures were, the families of these men might attempt to bring civil suits against the US government under the Alien Tort Act.
The deaths of the three men, who hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, are the first suicides at the facility.
Dozens of other attempts, from hanging to overdosing, have been thwarted by military medics.
Suicide attempts at Guantanamo began shortly after the facility opened in January 2002. In late 2003 officials began to reclassify many suicide attempts as “manipulative, self- injurious” behaviour intended to bring pressure on the authorities, but acknowledged that those classifications were not made after any formal evaluation.
All three men had participated in hunger strikes to protest against conditions. Lawyers for inmates had previously predicted that the harsh measures would push prisoners towards radical steps.
Officials said that shortly before the suicides, rumours had been circulating around the block that the facility would be closed if three inmates were to take their lives.Pulverizing a hundred Zarqawis will not make this nightmare go away for the Bush administration. The administration is what it claims to protect us against. Their so-called "war on terror" is more like a reign of terror.
- 23 inmates have tried to kill themselves on 41 occasions, says the military
- 29 suicide attempts were by hanging [the US was on notice]
- The camp opened in January 2002 after the US invaded Afghanistan # There are about 465 prisoners from 40 countries
- Ten have been charged but none has been tried
- Nearly 300 have been returned to their countries
- A report that the Koran had been desecrated provoked worldwide riots
- Several prisoners have been on a hunger strike on and off since last August