Friday, May 19, 2006

Prisoners clash with guards at Guantanamo

... and the UN recommends we close the camp.

Now what, praytell, caught the attention of the guards at Guantanamo that sparked this uprising? .... An attempted suicide in a common area.

What did the guards do? .... Rush in to try to save the prisoner's life.

Heaven forbid we try to save the life of a terrorist...

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Inmates at the U.S. Navy prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, fought with guards trying to prevent one of four suicide attempts at the facility yesterday, the U.S. military said.

Prisoners used light fixtures, fans and other improvised weapons to attack guards who had entered a communal living area to stop a detainee who was preparing to hang himself, the U.S. Southern Command, which runs the prison, said in a statement. Minimum force was used to quell the disturbance and prevent the suicide, Commander Robert Durand said in the statement.

Earlier in the day, three detainees ingested prescription medication that they had been hoarding to attempt to kill themselves by overdose, the statement said. The three were hospitalized and treated. Two detainees are under observation and one was released.

So our guards are fighting with the prisoners to save the prisoners' lives... What kind of f*cked up world are we living in where that makes a prison inhumane and deserving of being shut down?

UPDATE @ 4:46pm: In from the Cold post some interesting thoughts on the cause of the Gitmo suicide attempts and riots.

The "unwritten" message in this account is that conditions are so harsh at "Club Gitmo" that prisoners are attempting suicide to end their misery. And dutifully, MSNBC provides the number of attempted suicides at the prison since it opened back in 2002. Naturally, there's no frame of reference--for example, how does the number of attempted suicides at Gitmo compare to other correctional facilities, just the suggestion that Gitmo is a hell-hole for detainees.

There's also no speculation as to whether the suicide attempt might have been staged, to lure guards inside for the assault. Maybe I've watched too many prison movies, but it would seem that an attack on that scale--and using the types of "weapons" cited--would require some degree of advanced planning and preparation.

To their credit, the folks at MSNBC do manage to stumble across a more likely explanation for the uprising, and Thursday's "rash" of suicide attempts. Seems that these events occurred on a day when a number of Saudi prisoners were remanded to their home country. That transfer, coupled with reports that Gitmo may be closing soon, probably had the terrorists sufficiently agitated to try something--anything--to delay a return to the harsh confines of a "real" Middle East prison. The terrorists at Gitmo understand that if the facility there actually shuts down, many of them will face their own "homecomings," and an uncertain future at the hands of their countrymen.