Prisoners taking part in an expanding hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay leveled new complaints about their military jailers Wednesday as a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross made a fact-finding trip to the U.S. base in Cuba.
In an emergency motion filed with a federal court in Washington, lawyers say guards have refused to provide drinking water to hunger strikers and kept camp temperature “extremely frigid,” to thwart the protest. A spokesman for the detention center denied the allegations….
They filed the petition after interviewing Yemeni prisoner Musaab al-Madhwani by phone Monday. He told them that guards were refusing to provide bottled water and telling prisoners to drink from tap water that inmates believe is non-potable. The lawyers say in their motion that the lack of drinkable water has “already caused some prisoners kidney, urinary and stomach problems,” in addition to the health effects of the hunger strike.
Along with their motion, they submitted an affidavit from Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist and retired general, who believes that the hunger strike and lack of adequate drinking water “sets them up for gastrointestinal infections and a quick demise.” The doctor also said the 34-year-old al-Madhwani suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder linked to his torture while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and could be worsened by harsh conditions at Guantanamo….
White House spokesman Josh Earnest say Obama’s team is closely monitoring the hunger strikes, but deferred to the Pentagon for any specifics.
“The administration remains committed to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo bay,” Earnest said, noting that legislation passed by Congress makes it likely that process won’t be quick.
Thomas Wilner, “counsel of record to Guantanamo detainees in Rasul v. Bush and Boumediene v. Bush, the two Supreme Court cases that established detainees’ right to habeas corpus”, in the Washington Post yesterday:
… But the cost to our nation is more than economic. Many who have been charged with protecting our national security, including former defense secretary Robert Gates, former national security adviser Dennis Blair, former CIA director David Petraeus and former secretary of state Colin Powell, have pointed out that Guantanamo actually hurts U.S. security. As Sen. John McCain emphasized during his bid for the White House, when he “strongly” favored closing Guantanamo, the prison is a negative symbol that serves as an important recruiting tool for terrorists. President Obama himself has said that Guantanamo has probably “created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.”
“There is also no question,” Obama said in a May 2009 speech, that Guantanamo has undermined “America’s strongest currency in the world” — our “moral authority.”
unsolicited musical accompaniment: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3lbym_temple-of-the-dog-hunger-strike_music#.UVYI0lc0NAM
It’s just sickening. I still don’t understand why Christians — who have been instructed to care for prisoners — haven’t been screaming about this from day one. It really shocked me that many who consider themselves Christians applaud this barbarity. Guess I’m naive.
This, even more than the drones and the endless bogus war, makes me cringe in shame for my country.
Fasting without water could accelerate the participants demise.
Canceling commercial flights is unseemly.
It shocks me that anybody ever applauded it, Christian or no. Now, they mostly just stay quiet. Maybe BAAAARBAAARIITY! will be the new DROOOONES!
Shithole America loves nothing more than brutalizing innocent people, so Guantanamo gives Americans a double dose of everything they crave: helpless victims? Check. Most of the detainees innocent? Check. Savage torture of the innocent? Check.
Americans are angry at what’s going on in Guantanamo only because they can’t watch it in hi-def while munching Cheetohs.
Ted & Hellen
Poor Mr. Obama just can’t do anything about this.
Commander in Chief of the armed forces Obama just can’t do a single solitary thing about this.
Poor guy. If only he had some kind of authority…I don’t know what it would be, but some sort of office of some kind, maybe the most powerful in the world, then I KNOW he would close Guantanamo.
@Ted & Hellen: It’s a shame that Camp X-Ray’s budget could not have been included in sequestration cuts. Better them than small airports.
(Yes I know such priority security cuts are precluded)
To your over-all comment, yes there are initiatives open to the President, but the trade-offs aren’t very appealing and the end game uncertain. So I understand why nothing is being tried now, though I don’t like it.
The original sin of the current administration was mishandling this in January 09.
Can we just rename the whole thing the Kafka Initiative?
Let them eat cockroaches?
Villago Delenda Est
Yet another reason why Dick Cheney needs to be put to a slow death.
@Villago Delenda Est:
I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to have liberals running away from issues such as this.
What do you stand for, besides political expediency?
More precisely, it would be another of his short stories, “In the Penal Colony.”
Here’s the Wiki synopsis, though I expect you’re familiar with it:
ETA: “A Hunger Artist” might also seem appropriate, but in fact the American public has never taken much interest in what’s gone on at Guantanamo.
, but in fact the American public has never taken much interest in what’s gone on at Guantanamo
And that, means what to those who do GAS?.
Sorry, I don’t know what you mean by this, “GAS”?
As you may know, the “Hunger Artist” narrator recounts how the once avid public has lost interest in his fasting performance. I readily concede (and sort of did) that the story is not an apt comparison to the Guantanamo situation.
GAS-give a shit…
Thanks, I do my best to keep up with acronyms, but….
As another who GAS about the legal and moral abyss of Guantanamo, here’s a link to a recent “Up with Chris Hayes” program segment on the issue. Fair warning: it will do little to mitigate despondency.
I hardly watch Hardball or Rachel anymore since she has been so supportive of the protect Israel at all costs club, but I’ve heard a little buzz that he’s a stand-up guy. I will wait to see how hard he presses on the Palestinian issue. Til then, I’m neutral on his credibility scale.
In years of listening to the replay of her show, I have not picked up that vibe from her.
Really loving the courageous silence of the Balloon Juice community when Anne Laurie keeps beating you over the head with this issue. And yet it seemed so horrible during the Bush Administration…
Ted & Hellen
This lack of posting from the BJ Kool Kids on this thread really kind of says it all, no?
What cowards. Douchebags too.