Aren’t you sick of all the propaganda about awful it is for the “tortured” Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects detained down at the U.S. Naval base at Guananamo Bay? According to the media, life at Gitmo is supposed to be like this.
Never mind that the poster doesn’t depict any known scene at Guanatanamo, but rather, some of the admitted (and fully prosecuted) abuse of suspected Iraqi terrorists by U.S. military personnel at Abu Graib–and even at Abu Graib, being force to wear a hood and assume a humiliating position wasn’t fun (and the perps deserved to be tried and convicted), but it fell kind of short of torture, as judged by the standards that prevail for any other country except the United States.
Never mind also, that the film “The Road to Guantanamo” is an admittedly fictionalized version of the ordeal supposedly suffered by three Brit-born terrorism suspects before their eventual release and repatriation. Even the “Tipton Three,” as the trio of heroes is fondly known among U.K. lefties don’t say that they were subjected to anything more than having to kneel with their foreheads touching the ground for several hours–claims that U.S. authorities deny.
Then we have credulous stories like this one from the Washington Post last year about the “desperation” that so strongly afflicted one Gitmo detainee that he attempted suicide–conveniently during a visit from his lawyer.
“Jumah Dossari had to visit the restroom, so the detainee made a quick joke with his American lawyer before military police guards escorted him to a nearby cell with a toilet. The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had taken quite a toll on Dossari over the past four years, but his attorney, who was there to discuss Dossari’s federal court case, noted his good spirits and thought nothing of his bathroom break.
“Minutes later, when Dossari did not return, Joshua Colangelo-Bryan knocked on the cell door, calling out his client’s name. When he did not hear a response, Colangelo-Bryan stepped inside and saw a three-foot pool of blood on the floor. Numb, the lawyer looked up to see Dossari hanging unconscious from a noose tied to the ceiling, his eyes rolled back, his tongue and lips bulging, blood pouring from a gash in his right arm.”
And here’s Amnesty International weighing in:
“‘When you have suicide attempts or so-called self-harm incidents, it shows the type of impact indefinite detention can have,’ Alistair Hodgett, a spokesman for Amnesty International in Washington, D.C., told the AP.”
Interestingly enough, not a single one of the 23 reported suicide attempts over the past three years has resulted in an actual suicide.
“Ten Guantanamo prisoners lured U.S. guards into a cell with a staged suicide attempt, then attacked them with light fixtures, fan blades and other improvised weapons while guards fired rubber balls and used a grenade launcher to subdue them, U.S. officials said on Friday….
“While guards were putting down the fight, detainees in nearby cells began rioting, destroying cameras used to monitor them, fans, florescent lights and other property, officials said….
“‘The detainees had slickened the floor of their block with feces, urine and soapy water in an attempt to trip the guards. They then assaulted the guards with broken light fixtures, fan blades and bits of metal,’ said Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris, who commands the Guantanamo facility.”
So–who exactly is being abused at Guantanamo Bay?
As Michelle writes:
“Gitmo doesn’t need to be closed down. It needs a crackdown.”