Saturday, March 04, 2006

Gitmo: The Worst of the Worst?

On February 16, a British high court judge, Sir Andrew Collins, emphasized: "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to coincide with that of most civilized nations."
He was referring to a February 15 report by five independent U.N. special rapporteurs on torture that Guantánamo be closed and its prisoners be tried or released.
What has newly inflamed human rights critics of Guantánamo's treatment of its prisoners—whom Donald Rumsfeld has described as "terrorists" and "the worst of the worst" of the suspected terrorists we have captured—are confirmed reports of the force-feeding of desperate prisoners, held for four years with no end in sight. At one point, 130 had refused food, but that number is now down to four because of the methods used to prevent one or more of the resisters from dying, thereby further shaming the United States.
... There are now about 490 prisoners at Gitmo, and "55 percent of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or coalition allies.
"Only 8 percent of the detainees were characterized as Al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40 percent have no definitive connection with Al Qaeda at all and 18 percent have no definitive affiliation with either Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
"Only 5 percent of the detainees were captured by United States forces. [A total of] 86 percent of the detainees were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to United States custody. This 86 percent of the detainees captured by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance were turned over to the United States at a time at which the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected enemies." (Emphasis added.)
[thanks, Tom P]

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