America's own Chateau D'If is experiencing a desperate, doomed
prisoners armed with weapons made of fans and light fixtures. They stand no
chance against soldiers and professional torturers armed to the teeth and in
control of almost every inch of the base, and so you could reasonably conclude
that they are at this point indifferent to death. If you like, the
United States has detained large numbers of people - many of whom we now know
are to be released uncharged, which is to say that they have been trapped in
hell for no reason, let alone a good one - and created suicide attackers out
of several of them. This follows attempted
suicides by four prisoners, using hoarded medicines. Commander Robert Durand
says he can't discern a motive or a message, which means he either intends to
insult our intelligence or his own.
The US has supplied the motive in abundance, and the response of many detainees
is to attempt
slow, agonising suicide. The message is that they are being held by such
an inhuman, savage state that they'd rather die than continue in captivity.
Donald Rumsfeld, in response to the hunger strikes, was kind enough to confirm
this by describing them as "a
diet". The invertebrate UN human rights watchdog that asked
nicely for Guantanamo's closure because it seemed inapposite for a government
so vocal about the human rights record of others to be kidnapping people and
detaining them, indefinitely and without trial, and then torturing
them, got its response today. The US
said that the real problem is there aren't enough interrogators.
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