There’s heartbreaking news out of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. If by heartbreaking you mean “predictable attempt at garnering sympathy straight out of the al Qaeda training manual.” In a story titled Top US lawyer warns of deaths at Guantánamo The Guardian UK reports that Lieutenant-Colonel Yvonne Bradley, an American military lawyer, is demanding the release of her client – a British resident being held at Guantanamo who claims he was repeatedly tortured.
But first, Bradley, a US military attorney for 20 years, will reveal that Mohamed, 31, is dying in his Guantánamo cell and that conditions inside the Cuban prison camp have deteriorated badly since Barack Obama took office. Fifty of its 260 detainees are on hunger strike and, say witnesses, are being strapped to chairs and force-fed, with those who resist being beaten. At least 20 are described as being so unhealthy they are on a “critical list”, according to Bradley.
Who could have guessed that George Bush was such a catalyst for sustaining livable conditions at Guantanamo? How shocking that poor Binyam Mohamed is dying in his cell from injuries inflicted during the repeated torture session he has endured while in US custody. What’s that you say? His condition is absolutely unconnected to any actions by the US troops guarding him?
Mohamed, who is suffering dramatic weight loss after a month-long hunger strike, has told Bradley, 45, that he is “very scared” of being attacked by guards, after witnessing a savage beating for a detainee who refused to be strapped down and have a feeding tube forced into his mouth. It is the first account Bradley has personally received of a detainee being physically assaulted in Guantánamo.
Oh, so the part about him being repeatedly tortured at Guantanamo was sort of a lie? He hasn’t been beaten by US troops and he’s just “very scared” of being attacked because he witnessed another detainee being restrained? LC Bradley, I recommend you take in a few episodes of Lockup on MSNBC or Lockdown on NatGeo. It’s a funny thing how every single person in prison is innocent, singled out for abuse by the staff, and fears for their life the entire time they’re plotting violence against guards and other inmates.
“Binyam has witnessed people being forcibly extracted from their cell. Swat teams in police gear come in and take the person out; if they resist, they are force-fed and then beaten. Binyam has seen this and has not witnessed this before. Guantánamo Bay is in the grip of a mass hunger strike and the numbers are growing; things are worsening.
“It is so bad that there are not enough chairs to strap them down and force-feed them for a two- or three-hour period to digest food through a feeding tube. Because there are not enough chairs the guards are having to force-feed them in shifts. After Binyam saw a nearby inmate being beaten it scared him and he decided he was not going to resist. He thought, ‘I don’t want to be beat, injured or killed.’ Given his health situation, one good blow could be fatal,” said Bradley.
“Binyam is continuing to lose weight and he is going to get worse. He has been told he is about to be released, but psychologically and physically he is declining.”I’m having a bit of trouble seeing my computer screen through all the tears. The idea of a person being forcibly extracted from their cell in a US prison just fills me with…indifference. Force feeding an inmate who’s on a hunger strike? How ordinary. It seems those deaths at Guantanamo the Guardian is shilling are being averted by the prison staff risking their own safety to force feed inmates who have chosen not to eat.
At some prison deep inside Iran or China or North Korea or Cuba there’s someone laughing so hard at the thought of being forced to receive nourishment they’re wetting themselves. Which, to head off the usual “shouldn’t we be better than DPRK, etc.” comments, proves that the US is indeed better. Our detainees are treated humanely and given life-saving medical care. These jokers aren’t being starved and worked to death, so spare me your gulag comparisons lest you reveal your ignorance of history.
But if Mohamed survives to come back to London, his experiences of the past six years promise a harrowing journey through the dark underbelly of the war on terror.
Better to take Mohamed’s word for it than discuss the dark underbelly of the war on terror with Iraqis who asked American servicemen to rid them of the murder and mayhem suffered under the “insurgents”. Before you know it we’ll be learning about Guantanamo guards using gay rape to force detainees to conform to their will.
Mohamed, don’t let the cell door hit you where the good lord split you. Britain, enjoy your scumbag. You might want to watch out for the old “clawing at your face with feces under the fingernails” trick.