Amnesty International - Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay
April 8, 2007 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Detainees are confined for 22 hours a day to individual, enclosed, steel cells where they are almost completely cut off from human contact. The cells have no windows to the outside or access to natural light or fresh air. No activities are provided, and detainees are subjected to 24 hour lighting and constant observation by guards through the narrow windows in the cell doors. They exercise alone in a high-walled yard where little sunlight filters through; detainees are often only offered exercise at night and may not see daylight for days at a time... It appears that around 80 per cent of the approximately 385 men currently held at Guantánamo are in isolation – a reversal of earlier moves to ease conditions and allow more socialising among detainees.
Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay
Red Cross chief raises Guantánamo issue in D.C.
Guantánamo follies
posted by y2karl (27 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The longer this goes on, the more it'll hurt when things are finally rectified. My guess is that the current administration's strategy is to simply wait until they are out of office. Whoever picks up the slack next will have to release, bring folks to trial, or try to hold on until the next administration. All of this for guys who haven't even had a trial yet. Didn't we revolt against the British for this kind of thing?
posted by adipocere at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2007

On today of all days, when Jesus died for America, you have a lot of gall to show such a lack of support for the troops, not to mention sending a mixed message of defeat to our enemies.
posted by DU at 8:51 AM on April 8, 2007 [3 favorites]

Whodda thought BushCo could institute inhumane treatment against the "enemy" as well as our own soldiers. Bravo, Mr. Bush, you're earning your paycheck! How many of the detainees have been charged with crimes?

Also, was I was the only one who thought of cube people when you read the description of lightless, airless rooms without human contact?
posted by fenriq at 9:17 AM on April 8, 2007

Perhaps if fifteen of them had left their home country, hopped in a boat, and sailed very close to nations hostile to them thousands of miles away before being captured, then the world might have been more sympathetic to their plight.

But as it was, these people had the nerve to stay inside their own borders and engage in some sort of internal conflict. The nerve of them.
posted by flarbuse at 9:26 AM on April 8, 2007

They just have to plead guilty. Hicks will be home soon. Who cares?
posted by tellurian at 9:57 AM on April 8, 2007

The Road to Guantanamo
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on April 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

The USA might as well shoot the detainees. Seven years of isolation tank torture will have completely destroyed their humanity. Seven years! What a completely sick thing to do to a person.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 AM on April 8, 2007

The USA might as well shoot the detainees. Seven years of isolation tank torture will have completely destroyed their humanity. Seven years! What a completely sick thing to do to a person.
Shooting people because they're not fit to return? What are you talking about? Hicks will be home soon after 5 years. He can't talk about it. Who cares?
posted by tellurian at 10:32 AM on April 8, 2007

Who cares?

The true product of the war on terror.
posted by Balisong at 10:58 AM on April 8, 2007 [5 favorites]

I'm re-reading Nadezhda Mandelstam's Hope Against Hope, about how her husband, the poet Mandelstam, was slowly destroyed by the Soviet regime's systemized brutality, and I am struck by the similarities. Let us remember that these are people, fathers, sons, husbands. They have lives and dreams and families, who all, without fair trial, must be presumed innocent. There are untold number of such prisons around the world that we are not aware of, in addition to the millions rotting in our domestic gulag, many of them for nothing worse than drug possession. How can we accept this?
posted by bukharin at 10:58 AM on April 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

How can we accept this?

Easily, as we accept it every day. You got any plays for today, tonight or this week that involve NOT accepting it?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2007

I weep for what my nation has come to represent.
posted by Optamystic at 11:41 AM on April 8, 2007

Always represented. Ask Geronimo
posted by A189Nut at 11:43 AM on April 8, 2007

This is why any admit of guilt is suspect. I guarantee you, give me ANYONE off the street and seven years of isolation and probable torture and they will plead guilty. (give me 1/2 a day with Cheney and he'll admit to bombing Perl Harbor) And the kicker is the US government has fucked this up so much we can never know what the actual truth is. Undoubtedly there where/are people there who deserve to be locked up. But by waiting so god damned long before doing anything to ascertain actual guilt it is all moot, and suspect. I can not read anything about someone pleading guilty in these circumstances and not be suspicious about it. And this is why such programs are doomed to provide anything remotely similar to justice, integrity, or effectiveness. Nothing good has come out of it. Anyone being released at this point should be a de facto enemy of the US, I know I would be. The family and friends of these people are unlikely to hold us in high esteem and assuredly somewhere along the line some of those will take action that will cause us harm.
posted by edgeways at 11:47 AM on April 8, 2007

This American Life has a free episode about Guantánamo deetainees entitled "Habeas Schmabeas". It just won a Peabody award.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:51 AM on April 8, 2007

Ya know, I'm tired of libtards like y2karl whining about how we treat the convicted terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.

Allah knows, if the Iranians or other Islamofacists got their hands on American soldiers or our allies, they'd brutalize them worse and longer than anything at Gitmo.

America has always been the most humane and civilized nation on Earth. Ask any Cherokee.
posted by orthogonality at 11:55 AM on April 8, 2007

The British military folks were imprisoned for a matter of days and received treatment that doesn't even come close to the treatment that those in Guantanamo have received over a period of years. The British say that they lied and told their captors what they wanted to hear.

Why in the world would anyone think that the Guantanamo detainees would do any differently????
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:19 PM on April 8, 2007

If the Brits are anything to go by the Gitmo folk will get a six figure movie and book deal
posted by A189Nut at 12:41 PM on April 8, 2007

Nations reap what they sow.

America is going to inherit a shit-storm for the coming decades.
posted by bardic at 1:59 PM on April 8, 2007

Detainees? What the shit. These people are prisoners no matter how you spin it. Bush's administration has minced words so badly in order to change the perception of the terrible things they're doing and in order to wiggle their way through some legal loophole. Fuck the spirit of the law, if they can find a way around it by changing the verbiage a bit, then certainly it doesn't apply.

And you, me, the media and everyone else that accepts their new lingo is guilty of buying into their story just a little bit.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:40 PM on April 8, 2007

Whoops wrong thread..
posted by Balisong at 6:08 PM on April 8, 2007

I give homunculus link two thumbscrews up!
posted by hortense at 6:16 PM on April 8, 2007

You’d think the international red cross condemnation would be a reality check of sorts.
Of course, ‘think’ being the operative word there...
posted by Smedleyman at 1:47 PM on April 9, 2007

Holy fuck.

On Aug. 2, an interrogation chief visited the prisoner posing as a White House representative named "Navy Capt. Collins," the report said. He gave the prisoner a forged memorandum indicating that Mr. Slahi's mother was being shipped to Guantanamo, and that officials had concerns about her safety as the only woman amid hundreds of male prisoners, according a person familiar with the matter.

"Capt. Collins" told Mr. Slahi "that if he wanted to help his family he should tell them everything they wanted to know," the report continued.

posted by EarBucket at 3:19 PM on April 9, 2007

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