What Would Be Inhumane?

White House spokesman Tony Snow also insisted that humane treatment has been followed at Guantanamo.

“The instruction manuals that are used by the Department of Defense all comply with humane treatment, which is obviously the overarching requirement of Common Article Three,” Snow said.

“It is not really a reversal of policy. Humane treatment has always been the standard, and that is something they followed at Guantanamo,” he said. “They are treated humanely. Humane treatment has always been the standard.”

An example of the humane treatment at GTMO: 

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18, 24 hours or more. On one occassion [sic], the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. When I asked the MP’s what was going on, I was told that interrogators from the day prior had ordered this treatment, and the detainee was not to be moved.

On another occasion, the A/C had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room probably well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night.

The full report includes many other instances of humane treatment:

Prisoners being interrogated at Guantánamo have been:

• held in solitary confinement for periods exceeding a year;

• deprived of sleep for days and weeks and, in at least one case, months;

• exposed to prolonged temperature extremes;

• beaten;

• threatened with transfer to a foreign country, for torture;

• tortured in foreign countries or at U.S. military bases abroad before transfer to Guantánamo;

• sexually harassed and raped or threatened with rape;

• deprived of medical treatment for serious conditions, or allowed treatment only on the condition that they “cooperate” with interrogators; and

• routinely “short-shackled” (wrists and ankles bound together and to the floor) for hours and even days during interrogations.

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2 Comments on “What Would Be Inhumane?”

  1. Kathy Says:

    I wouldn’t wish this treatment on anyone, but I defy Tony Snow to live through even a day or two of it and then say that it’s humane. We are turning into the people we purport to be fighting.

  2. HP Says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better, Kathy. In a war against terrorism, we must keep the moral highground, and reports like that show that some of our current policies are losing that battle. Discouraging, to say the least.

    The people of the USA should demand better. It is disturbing how many people in our state agree with this behavior, however. Fear of the unnamed enemy drives many to adopt a “by whatever means necesssary” attitude, but giving up one’s morality for security is a losing proposition every time.


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