I have a word of advice I would like to offer Donald Rumsfeld and the
Pentagon chieftains who currently preside over the 200 or more hunger strikers
at Guantanamo Bay, 20 of whom are near death.
For God’s sake, let them die.
What more could you possibly want from them?
They’ve already provided you with the subjects you needed for your newly
perfected sense-deprivation techniques and your sadistic methods of torture.
They supplied you with the lab rats for your new drugs, your improved methods
of psychological torment, and your sexually deviant abuses. Now, let them die.
The experiment is over. Show that there is some speck of humanity left in your
withered heart by allowing these men to pass away with dignity, the dignity
you deprived them of in life.
The hunger strike has been going on for six weeks. That means that a considerable
number of the prisoners are undergoing the latter phases of physical deterioration.
Many are probably vomiting blood by now and too weak to either walk or stand
on their own. Their liver and kidney functions have begun to fail and their
vision has begun to weaken, putting additional pressure on the heart to continue
working while the body is slowly devouring itself.
Let them die.
If the Pentagon allowed the media to visit Guantanamo, they would see the emaciated,
skeletal victims of Bush’s war on terror, the proof that America now oversees
Nazi-like death camps. But, the media has shown little interest in the suffering
of the prisoners even though it is widely acknowledged that many were randomly
rounded up by warlords in Afghanistan and ransomed to the Americans.
So far, only one newspaper in the country, The Minnesota Daily, has spoken
out on behalf of the prisoners on their editorial page. The newspaper stated:
“While morality and ethics are abstract ideas, justice is more concrete,
hence why there are laws. Guantanamo and the actions that have been taken by
our government against the detainees violate the Geneva Convention, the Bill
of Rights, and our Constitution. Justice is not merely a conditional idea.”
The Minnesota Daily is the solitary voice in the media wilderness defending
the essential rights of these casualties in Bush’s war, but with little
effect. Washington’s justice has nothing to do with mercy or rehabilitation,
but with punishment alone.
There won’t be any cameras or journalists at Guantanamo. The face that
America sees is the tan-and-rested visage of President Fraudster offering his
soothing commentary on another part of the globe destroyed by his recklessness.
The pictures of Bush’s dungeons are left on the cutting room floor with
the other unflattering footage of American brutality. That certainly won’t
The prisoners follow in the long tradition of hunger strikers from Gandhi to
Bobby Sands. Their demands are simple. They want the ability to challenge the
terms of their imprisonment in court.
That’s it; the most basic of all human rights, to be informed of the
crime for which they are being held and the opportunity to defend themselves
against those charges. It’s a right that they are entitled to under international
law, but have been denied by Washington.
The Pentagon has done nothing to address the inmates’ demands and steadfastly
refuses to meet with their leaders. Instead, they have taken the low road by
handcuffing and putting leg irons on the sickest and force feeding them intravenously
or through nose drips.
Let them die.
The United States has established itself well beyond the rule of law, a rogue
state that refuses to comply with even the minimal standards of decency required
under the Geneva Conventions. Guantanamo Bay is the administration’s ultimate
achievement: a torture-gulag devoted to the cruel and inhuman treatment of its
enemies, an icon to lawlessness and savagery.
The administration now asserts its power over death itself, a final means of
humiliating its victims and perpetuating their suffering. Rumsfeld’s feeding
tubes are the last slim thread that tethers these men to a lifetime of detention,
abuse, and hopelessness.
Let them die or let them go.