Bitching Brew

Monday, June 12, 2006

You call this PR?

This might be a small point in the larger issue of inmates killing themselves after having been held, without charge, in indefinite detention.

A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a "good PR move to draw attention".

Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and "a tactic to further the jihadi cause", but taking their own lives was unnecessary.

And there's more, from the same report:

The camp commander, Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.

"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said.

"They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."

Those men may or may not have been quite nasty pieces of work (we don't know, do we?), but do not insult the world with this shit. Suicide is not highly regarded in Islam. In case you need further convincing, take suicide bombings, which are justified by some as 'martyrdom operations' rather than suicide. There's nothing of the martyr in a straight suicide; we can distinguish that straight away. So shove that asymmetric warfare crap back down your pipe. Suicide attempts are constantly being made in that camp. The reason is not "asymmetrical warfare"; instead, for many of the inmates, suicide must be the rational option. Indefinite detention without trial is an outrage, especially in those conditions.

So do your country, which I have great admiration for, a huge favour, and quit running this distasteful trash that aspires to be propaganda. Some honesty, or even relative honesty, would be delightful. Three of your prisoners have killed themselves, and you call it a "good PR move". I call your PR disgusting.


  • Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a few other NGOs, have designated June Torture Awareness Month. We've created a blogroll you can join if you're interested. You can find it here. The idea is that everyone is linked to from the blogroll, and in exchange, you discuss torture (as you already do), and link to the Torture Awareness site to help support the NGOs.

    There's a lot of bloggers who are angry about human rights abuse in the War on Terror. If we coordinate, we can show our support and help Amnesty and HRW make Torture Awareness Month a success.

    By Blogger elendil, at Mon Jun 12, 01:10:00 a.m.  

  • I might just do that. Thanks for the information.

    "The West" will win neither hearts nor the peace if it violates its own core principles in its wars. What makes liberal democracy special is its defence of the individual against the majority. At least that's supposed to be the case.

    By Blogger Martin, at Fri Jun 23, 07:43:00 p.m.  

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