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Three Hanged at Guantanamo

2006-06-11

Category: politics

Three detainees from Guantanamo Bay have hanged themselves. You?ve probably heard that news. You may have also heard why.

According to the Bush administration, the men killed themselves as an act of war against the United States.

I believe that creaking sound is from something being stretched a bit.

Sure, the fellows could have decided that killing themselves would make them martyrs and would garner negative attention for the American military. That would make perfect sense. It?s also possible that they were simply depressed, as their attorneys have stated. Either way, the warfare reason sound a little exaggerated.

In general, I?m all in favor of taking prisoners as part of warfare. When the war is done, you let them go. In this case the war is not going to be done for a while. Of course, when taking prisoners, you have to be selective in who gets taken. That?s a matter of contention in this case; there are some prisoners who may not have been enemy soldiers. Regardless of the circumstance of capture, our government has a responsibility to clearly define why each prisoner is there and what must happen to ensure the release of same.

It?s good that the prisoners aren?t doing forced labor. They are, as far as I know, allowed to practice their religion. They are fed (sometimes forcibly). They aren?t, again as far as I know, being brainwashed. [I actually recommend some degree of brainwashing, even in our prisons for criminals, but that?s a different topic.]

Why would the administration suggest that suicide in this form is warfare? It?s not like suicide bombers who try to kill others at the same time. It?s not like kamikaze pilots who gave their lives to take out the ships of their enemies. It might bring some negative publicity to the Bush administration, but that?s just business as usual at this point.

I can think of two reasons. First, it?s possible that the Bush administration is hoping that the practice of quietly hanging themselves will catch on among the enemy and lead to a quick end to the conflict.

Secondly, the military may be offering Bush an exit strategy. I?ll let you giggle ponder over that one on your own.

In any event, I don?t think this incident will cause any change in the course of things as they are.


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