May 28, 2008
The Inside Scoop on "Solitary Confinement" at Gitmo
Well, well, well... as Scott McClellen reveals how the President cleverly used propaganda to manipulate public opinion to his advantage (thank God we learned of this sinister plot in time to foil it!) we finally learn about the true conditions inside Guantanamo Bay.
You know... the inhumane and unconscionable solitary confinement that has driven prisoners like Salim Ahmed Hamdan incurably insane?
Next month, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni who was once a driver for Osama bin Laden, could become the first detainee to be tried for war crimes in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. By now, he should be busily working on his defense.
But his lawyers say he cannot. They say Hamdan, already the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, has essentially been driven insane by solitary confinement in a tiny cell where he spends at least 22 hours a day, goes to the bathroom and eats all his meals. His defense team says he is suicidal, hears voices, has flashbacks, talks to himself and says the restrictions of Guantánamo "boil his mind."
"He will shout at us," said his military defense lawyer, Lieutenant Commander Brian Mizer. "He will bang his fists on the table."
His lawyers have asked a military judge to stop his case until Hamdan is placed in less restrictive conditions at Guantánamo, saying he cannot get a fair trial if he cannot focus on defending himself. The judge is to hear arguments as soon as Monday on whether he has the power to consider the claim.
Critics have long asserted that Guantánamo's climate-controlled isolation is a breeding ground for insanity. But turning that into a legal claim marks a new stage for the military commissions at Guantánamo. As military prosecutors push to get trials under way, they are being met with challenges not just to the charges, but to Guantánamo itself.
Conditions are more isolating than many death rows and maximum-security prisons in the United States, said Jules Lobel, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who is an expert on U.S. prison conditions.
As various experts on the subject of torture have told us, no one survives this kind of inhumane treatment with all their marbles intact.
Thank God for experts and professional journalists. Without their dedication to impartial and accurate Accountability Journalism, we poor deluded sheep might never get the straight scoop!
Q Sir, if you take — when I — again, I was down for the Hamdan hearing, the defense attorneys for Hamdan, the people out of Perkins Coie were saying that after he won in — at the Supreme Court, he was put back in solitary confinement for punitive reasons. Could you address that?
ADM. BUZBY: Sure. We don't have any solitary confinement down here in Guantanamo. So that's pretty easy.
ADM. BUZBY: What we have is single cells. I mean, there's one person to a cell. All the cells are all right next to each other. So I guess — I suppose it's what you call solitary confinement. We — you know, it's the same sort of confinement — solitary, to me, is when you're separated totally from the whole population in a cell, and that's it. And we don't have that here.
Everyone is in their own cell, but they are all together in a group. So —
Q That's like having a single apartment in a fraternity house.
ADM. BUZBY: Pretty much. Single room.
Q So he can knock on the walls, talk to people next door,
basically. I mean, they —
ADM. BUZBY: He can talk all day long, and they do. They talk
between cells, they talk between tiers, they talk between camps. It's not quiet over there, let me tell you.
Q Far different than what I'd understood, so that's good to hear.
ADM. BUZBY: Absolutely.
And thank God for folks like Keith Olbermann and Peggy Noonan who continue to bravely unmask the monsters and sissies in our midst. Thanks to them, we need not pay the slightest attention to what these people actually said.
Instead, we can cheerfully blame them for answering questions posed by...
...professional journalists. I must say that I am continually impressed by the motives of these brave truth tellers. America is truly well served, is she not?
Posted by Cassandra at May 28, 2008 08:23 AM
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Posted by: David M at May 28, 2008 11:27 AM