Thursday, June 29, 2006

How ... Obtuse

News of the three suicides at the Guantanamo Bay prison June 10, 2006 continues to reverberate all over the world. A major newspaper here in the US isn't letting the story go, either. Yesterday, the LA Times did a follow-up article on the issue.

In the sharpening debate about whether suicides among detainees here are political statements or the actions of hopelessly depressed individuals, officials at the federal detention center outlined sweeping efforts to prevent them — but admitted nothing could stop the most determined prisoners.

Contraband sweeps and a security overhaul have turned up evidence of prisoners trying to open their veins with the metal mesh walls of their cells, hoarding prescription medicine — one prisoner stored 16 painkillers in his artificial leg — and waging hunger strikes.

..."It is not possible to make a detention facility or a prison suicide-proof if you have detainees or prisoners bent on suicide," said Navy Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the prison and its interrogations operation.

..."The campaign against us, the operations against us, are less about the length of their detention than about the effect they think they'll have," Harris said of recent incidents, rejecting the notion of Guantanamo critics that despair over indefinite detention was driving detainees to harm themselves.

Even if Admiral Harris were correct in his assessment on the reasons for the suicides and the other multiple attempts, his method of handling the issue seems to be playing right into the 'suiciders' hands. Perhaps Admiral Harris should be cut a little slack because he is simply the overseer, part of the lower-middle management of the Global War on Terra enterprise. At the same time, however, his callous comments are only fueling the anger in the rest of the world.

It's clear that he just. doesn't. get. it.


Anonymous Nora said...

Oh for God's sake.

These are people who have been kept there, in many cases, for years, with no contact with the outside world. They aren't even allowed to see their lawyers. They aren't allowed to communicate with their families and they have no way of knowing whether their families even know that they're still alive.

And this moron thinks that they're attempting suicide to make a political statement?? Hey, dimwit, in order to make a political statement, you have to have some faith that someone somewhere will hear you. The whole system has been designed to leave the "detainees" so completely isolated from the outside world that they couldn't possibly know whether they're being heard or not.

I am so disgusted at these monstrous policies.

6:12 AM  

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