Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gitmo Detainees' Suicide Attempt Not Staged

Apparently the "staged" suicide attempts in Guantanamo on Thursday were not staged at all.

On Friday, Reuters and MSNBC reported that a group of detainees at Guantanamo Bay lured American guards into an ambush by faking suicide. Here is part of the Reuters account:

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.

The officials called Thursday's clash the most intense outbreak of violence at the jail for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since it opened in January 2002.

Six prisoners were treated for "minor injuries" and none of the U.S. guards was seriously hurt after the fight pitting 10 inmates against 10 U.S. guards, the officials said. The fight ended only after guards blasted detainees five times with a 12 gauge shotgun shooting rubber balls and used a grenade launcher that shot a blunt rubber object, officials said.

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.

But an Agence France Presse article at, which appears to be reporting the same event, indicates that the suicide attempts were genuine, and that the U.S. guards were attacked to keep them from stopping the detainees from ending their lives.

The AFP piece also reports that 23 detainees have tried to kill themselves a total of 41 times since the concentration camp, located on a former U.S. naval base in a remote part of Cuba, opened. This year alone there have been six suicide attempts. Lawyers who have visited Gitmo say that "... there is widespread depression among the approximately 460 inmates, most of whom have been held for more than four years without charge."

Patterico doesn't think endemic depression among Gitmo detainees is anything that needs to be taken seriously:

... Gitmo detainees, undergoing severe depression at their inability to continue their jihad against America, have the right to end their lives in any way they see fit.

What a heartless moron. What jihad against America? None of these men have even been charged with a crime, much less been tried and convicted. As far as U.S. and international law is concerned, all 460 of these inmates are utterly, completely, and totally innocent.

I would like to see Patterico and his ilk held in tiny cells with no charges or term of sentence, treated like vermin, and with no hope -- no hope -- of ever getting out, going home, seeing their families again, even though none of them have actually been sentenced to life in prison. And then see if these fascist monsters might feel depressed and suicidal.

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