Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 13 June 2006

Guantanamo can provoke only shame and revulsion

I have written many times before about my horror, and confusion, about what is being done at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the US Administration - ostensibly in the name of combatting international terrorism.

However one gruesome little 'detail' about the suicides of three of the inmates a few days ago has just come to my attention. I hardly know how to express what I feel about this; I haven't yet eaten breakfast, but in a way I am glad because I'm pretty certain I would have regurgitated it on learning what I did a few moments ago. It seems that one of the three was due to be released, but had not been told of this minor detail by the US detaining authorities, because they had not yet identified to which country he could be sent. The prisoner was Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi, a Saudi Arabian national. The final part of that last sentence requires examination also - "because they had not yet identified to which country he could be sent" - as one presumes that in the normal course of events such a person would be extradited back to the country of his nationality, but in this case this has not been thought possible, or wise, or perhaps the government of Saudi Arabia had declined his return; who knows?
(thru Jon Swift, in turn thru Andrew Sullivan)

... and remember this, the camp commandant, Rear Adm Harry Harris, felt able to characterise the suicides as "an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us" whilst being aware, presumably, of the decision made regarding Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi. The cynicism and perverted logic is simply breath-taking.

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