Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It never stops

Here and there in the news is the latest on the UN's attempts to get access to Guantanamo Bay prison. The UN reps are being allowed by the US to enter, but forbidden to interview any of the detainees. Sure doesn't make much sense, since Cheney and cronies say they have nothing to hide.

A recent Washington Post article claims that inmates are so desperate and have been so mistreated that they're resorting to suicide. One Bahraini inmate, Jumah Dossari, recently attempted suicide during a restroom break while meeting with his American lawyer. The article documents "36 suicide attempts by 22 different detainees, including three in the past 20 months."

An example of what's been going on:

Dossari, 26, said U.S. troops have put out cigarettes on his skin, threatened to kill him and severely beat him. He told his lawyer that he saw U.S. Marines at Kandahar "using pages of the Koran to shine their boots," and was brutalized at Guantanamo Bay by Immediate Response Force guards who videotaped themselves attacking him.

This stuff still has the power to shock me--probably, because I, like most Americans, was raised to believe that our country actually values human rights and while actions like that may be done elsewhere, they're clearly not part of our country's repertoire. So much for that. I've definitely seen a vastly hightened sense of outrage in the UK press than in this country that the UN monitors are banned from interviewing. Where's the sense of outrage here?

The other night Ghida came over and we watched "Battle of Algiers." At one of the scenes in which captured Algerians were being tortured by their French captors, Ghida looked over at me and said, "This is what's going on now." It's unbelievable to me that nothing has really changed from then until now, and that this time our military has the dishonor of engaging in such shameful acts.

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