Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recommended Reading

We've been away to a basketball tournament in Connecticut so I haven't had time to read books, although I saw several women in the stands reading books between games. With that deafening noise they insist on playing for basketball games I wouldn't be able to concentrate.

However, I took along a few magazines to read in our motel room and one article struck me as something I should tell you about and encourage you to read. It's a report by Scott Horton, a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine, called "The Guantanamo 'Suicides,' A Camp Delta Sergeant Blows the Whistle." The article is in the March 2010 issue of Harper's Magazine.

The story involves three supposed suicides at Guantanamo in 2006. The authorities shut out reporters and just announced that three detainees had committed suicide by fashioning nooses out of torn tee shirts and sheets, stuffing rags into their mouths, tying their feet and hands, standing on the sink, putting their heads in the nooses and jumping. The three were in separate, non-connecting cells, yet did this simultaneously.

Just on the surface of it, this sounds kind of fishy. Then you learn that all three were about to be released. They had never been charged with anything and had merely been picked up on a sweep. Two were from Saudi Arabia and the third from Yemen. A new Marine guard, Joe Hickman, was on duty that night and his observances and subsequent investigation blow this story of suicides right out of the water.

The three were actually spirited out to a section the guards called "Camp No" because it supposedly didn't exist. It was nothing short of a torture chamber and these unfortunate young men died there. I can't even bear to write about what was done to prisoners there. As an American, I am deeply ashamed that these things were done by Americans to people in U.S. custody. To say I'm shocked and horrified at not only the killings but the cover-up is the biggest understatement of the year.

This is a well-written, well-chronicled account that I do hope you will read. It'll open your eyes about what is done in our name.

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