Monday, December 7, 2009

Murder at Guantanamo

When the Bush administration and the Pentagon, in the person of Rear Admiral Harry Harris, classified the apparent suicide of three prisoners at Guantanamo as asymmetrical warfare they were justifiably ridiculed. It turns out the truth is much more disturbing. A group at Seton Hall studied the report generated after two years by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and exposed the ridiculousness of the idea that these three committed suicide.

The new study exposes how the NCIS report purports that all three prisoners on the prison's Alpha Block did the following to commit suicide:

• Braided a noose by tearing up their sheets and/or clothing.
• Made mannequins of themselves so it would appear to the guards they were asleep in their cells.
• Hung sheets to block the view into the cells.
• Stuffed rags down their own throats well past a point which would have induced involuntary gagging.
• Tied their own feet together.
• Tied their own hands together.
• Hung the noose from the metal mesh of the cell wall and/or ceiling.
• Climbed up on to the sink, put the noose around their necks and release their weight, resulting in death by strangulation.

The study also notes that there has never been any explanation of how the three bodies could have hung in the cells, undiscovered, for at least two hours, when the cells were supposed to be under constant supervision by roving guards and video cameras.


It is not even clear that it would be physically possible for the prisoners to commit suicide consistent with these facts. One of the Seton Hall study's authors, law student and former sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division Paul W. Taylor, stated: "We have three bodies and no explanation. How is it possible that all three detainees had shoved rags so far down their own throats that medical personnel could not remove them?

One of the murdered three, Yassar Talal Al Zahrani, was seventeen years old when he was picked up by the US.

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