Wednesday, February 25, 2009

necrophilia is right out

Over at Newshoggers, Cernig discuss the Reuters report that conditions at Guantanamo had deteriorated since the elections and the guards were trying to get their jollies while they could.

"If one was to use one's imagination, (one) could say that these traumatized, and for lack of a better word barbaric, guards were just basically trying to get their kicks in right now for fear that they won't be able to later," he said.

"Certainly in my experience there have been many, many more reported incidents of abuse since the inauguration,"
Cernig points out that
Reuters also notes that Admiral Patrick Walsh, the author of a recent report saying that Guantanamo Bay is fully in compliance with the Geneva Conventions, looked at 20 allegations of abuse - 14 of which were substantiated. "Fully" now means 25%, when the fox is asked to exonerate its own doings in the henhouse and has no real fear of being held to account.
The report says:
After considerable deliberation and a comprehensive review, it is our judgment that the conditions of confinement in Guantánamo are in conformity with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.1
In our view, there are two components in the scope of the compliance review taken from Common Article 3: the first is the explicit prohibition against specified acts (at any time and at any place). Any substantiated evidence of prohibited acts discovered in the course of the review would have warranted a finding of “non-compliance” with Common Article 3. We found no such evidence.

Additionally, determining conformity with Common Article 3 requires examination of the directive aspect of the Article, this being that “Persons…shall in all circumstances be treated humanely.” This element of the effort demanded that the Review Team examine conditions of detention based upon our experience and professional backgrounds, informed and challenged by outside commentary. As a result of that effort, we find that the conditions of confinement in Guantánamo also meet the directive requirements of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Common article 3 of the Geneva conventions (pdf) says:
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time
and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation,
cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without
previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording
all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
While Walsh won't discuss the details of the 14 substantiated complaints, the human rights lawyer in the Reuter's article does
He cited beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.... In one case his client had his knee, shoulder and thumb dislocated by a group of guards, Ghappour said.
Which seems to violate Common Article 3. But maybe like Rumsfeld standing on his feet for hours Admiral Patrick Walsh regularly sprays his toilet paper with pepper spray and has his people dislocate his knee shoulder and thumb. You can never tell with these navy folk.

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