Posted by admin
Jun 11 2006

This is just plain strange, any way you look at it.

Guantanamo suicides ‘acts of war’ (BBC):

The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were “committed” and had killed themselves in “an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us”.

Lawyers said the men who hanged themselves had been driven by despair.

A military investigation into the deaths is now under way, amid growing calls for the detention centre to be moved or closed.

Walter White, an international lawyer who specialises in human rights, told the BBC the Guantanamo camp was likely to be considered a “great stain” on the human rights record of the US….

…Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.

“They are smart. They are creative, they are committed,” he said.

“They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

All three men had previously taken part in some of the mass on-and-off hunger strikes undertaken by detainees since last August, and all three had been force-fed by camp authorities.

They had left suicide notes, but no details have been made available.

Okay, so maybe Harris isn’t getting out as often as he might like, leaving him prone to making such boneheaded comments. I don’t know. But then there’s this, headline linked with the above article:

Guantanamo suicides a ‘PR move’ (BBC):
A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move to draw attention”.

Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause”, but taking their own lives was unnecessary.

But lawyers say the men who hanged themselves had been driven by despair.

A military investigation into the deaths is under way, amid growing calls for the centre to be moved or closed.

Speaking to the BBC’s Newshour programme, Ms Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, said the three men did not value their lives nor the lives of those around them.

Detainees had access to lawyers, received mail and had the ability to write to families, so had other means of making protests, she said, and it was hard to see why the men had not protested about their situation.


“Act of war?” “A good PR move?” Holy cats! Orwell couldn’t have dreamed up such tortured no-win arguments for Animal Farm or 1984. From the start, the administration has tried to redefine torture and even human rights, cloak Guantanamo in secrecy, and deny the detainees any semblance of due process. Excuse me for being more than a little skeptical of its claims that the three detainees committed suicide for any other reason greater than their own personal despair.

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