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NO QUARTER: Animal Farm and Guantanamo

June 14, 2006

Larry Johnson writes:

According to General Barry McCaffrey, those wiley terrorists in Guantanamo attacked us by committing suicide. HUH?

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey said Guantanamo has become a political problem for the United States.

“I don’t know how we get out of this,” said McCaffrey. “Some of these people are extremely dangerous. This was an act of political warfare by the three people that committed suicide, the same as a suicide bomber in downtown Baghdad.”

Folks, we are now in the twilight zone. The United States is holding people as terrorists (becauase we say so) without access to the Geneva Convention or our Constitution. I am old enough to remember the Cold War. I remember the Soviet Union declaring Alex Solzhenitsyn and others as “enemies of the state”. They were deprived of due process and judicial access. Of course, correctly so, the United States and human rights organizations spoke out against this abuse.

Guardian – ‘Killing themselves was unnecessary. But it certainly is a good PR move‘ : “It does sound like this is part of a strategy – in that they don’t value their own lives, and they certainly don’t value ours; and they use suicide bombings as a tactic,” Colleen Graffy, the deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, told BBC’s Newshour yesterday. “Taking their own lives was not necessary, but it certainly is a good PR move.” On Saturday, the camp’s commander, Navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris, said the suicides were an al-Qaida tactic. “They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us,” he said.

For the record, when one loses their life, they are a victim, it is NOT a “good PR move.” These men felt desperate and without hope. In a typically sad, ironic way, one detainee was to be released, though not told of this fact. They should all be let go. Immediately! Looking for a link about the impending release of one of the suicide victims, which pointed to the BBC, I ran across an article from the local paper (free registration may be required) that had reporters at Gitmo:

Observer staffers Michael Gordon and Todd Sumlin were at the military prison on Saturday working on a profile of the jail’s commander, Col. Mike Bumgarner of Kings Mountain, N.C., when three detainees hanged themselves.

Gordon was the only U.S. reporter at the base on Saturday. Reporters from the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times later arrived at Guantanamo to report on the deaths, which have been front-page news around the world. All were told Tuesday that they had to leave.

To quote the article on the reaction:

Bumgarner ordered a high suicide alert for “the brothers,” the term used by the military personnel to describe the detainees. “Brother” also is a term of Muslim endearment the inmates use among themselves.

“If any brother says he’s going to kill himself … or says the death chant, anything. That brother will immediately go to a suicide blanket and smock,” Bumgarner said.

The suicide blanket is made of a tightly wound material that’s hard to puncture or strip. The smock keeps a detainee from ripping apart his shirt, pants or underwear to knot a cloth rope.

That sounds like a straight jacket to me, and don’t forget about the 75 detainees [as of May 29,2006, I believe its increased in recent weeks] under hunger strike.
E&P has the story on the reporters.

Bottom Line? Close Gitmo! Don’t build new prisons!!
P.S. This is in my local paper, and I’m so proud! but I found it, by searching, maybe I need to give my local paper some more attention. Though I did cancel my subscription, because of the waste of paper, due to lack of time.
OT: I have worked on this post 4 times, and keep losing my thoughts when I hit save, instead of “save and continue editing.” Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Update: Mike Farrell gets a “hell yeah!” for this post at C&L. I just have to post a bit…

How Dare They?

Just who the hell do they think they are… or were? How dastardly, how
evil, how utterly asymmetrical!

How low can they stoop… okay, they weren’t actually stooping, you have
to stand up to hang yourself. But all the same, it’s stooping pretty
damned low to attack a country that’s only trying to defend itself
against people who… people who look like the people who we think may be
the ones who attacked us.

If they didn’t like it they never should have gone to Guantanamo in the
first place!

Go read the rest, you’ll enjoy it.

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