From the NYTimes:
A hunger strike among detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who have been imprisoned by the United States military without trial — some for more than a decade — is continuing to grow, although there is sharp disagreement between the military and lawyers for the detainees about how many are participating.
As of Monday morning, 28 of the 166 prisoners had refused enough continuous meals to be deemed hunger strikers in the official count, and 10 of them were being force fed, said a military spokesman, Capt. Robert Durand. That was up from 26 hunger strikers and 8 who were being force fed on Friday, according to the military’s count. Three detainees have been hospitalized for dehydration, Captain Durand added.
Lawyers for detainees, however, citing declassified notes of conversations with their clients in person and by phone, claim that the military’s numbers are significantly undercounting the actual level of participation. Their clients have told them that an overwhelming majority of the detainees in Camps Five and Six — where low-level suspects who are not facing any charges before a military commission, the bulk of the inmate population, are being held — have been refusing to eat for weeks, they said….
Lawyers for detainees and military officials agree that waning hopes for any release among low-level prisoners are an underlying cause of the unrest. Congress has placed restrictions on further transfers, nearly halting any departures even though about half of the remaining inmates were cleared for release years ago. The bulk of the low-level detainees are Yemenis.
Because it now appears that the prison will remain open indefinitely, the United States Southern Command, which overseas Guantánamo, has requested nearly $200 million to renovate facilities that were built to be temporary and are now deteriorating, including barracks and a meal hall for the guards.
On many occasions in the past prisoners have been force-fed by feeding tube when they went on hunger strike. It has been prohibited since 1975 by the Declaration of Tokyo of the World Medical Association, provided that the prisoner is “capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment”….
It would be much worse if Mitt Romney were in the Oval Office. But that’s one thing for which history won’t call Romney to account.