Thanks to dk at the Confluence
for bringing our attention to this piece in Harpers by Scott Horton on four prisoner "suicides" at Guantanamo. At least two of the "suicides" were prisoners captured on the information of someone who had collected a reward; there was no real evidence of wrongdoing.
Best, perhaps, to allow a few excerpts to speak for themselves:
According to the NCIS, each prisoner had fashioned a noose from torn sheets and T-shirts and tied it to the top of his cell’s eight-foot-high steel-mesh wall. Each prisoner was able somehow to bind his own hands, and, in at least one case, his own feet, then stuff more rags deep down into his own throat. We are then asked to believe that each prisoner, even as he was choking on those rags, climbed up on his washbasin, slipped his head through the noose, tightened it, and leapt from the washbasin to hang until he asphyxiated. The NCIS report also proposes that the three prisoners, who were held in non-adjoining cells, carried out each of these actions almost simultaneously.
According to independent interviews with soldiers who witnessed the speech, [Colonel] Bumgarner told his audience that “you all know” three prisoners in the Alpha Block at Camp 1 committed suicide during the night by swallowing rags, causing them to choke to death. This was a surprise to no one—even servicemen who had not worked the night before had heard about the rags. But then Bumgarner told those assembled that the media would report something different. It would report that the three prisoners had committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells. It was important, he said, that servicemen make no comments or suggestions that in any way undermined the official report. He reminded the soldiers and sailors that their phone and email communications were being monitored.
When Al-Zahrani viewed his son’s corpse, he saw evidence of a homicide. “There was a major blow to the head on the right side,” he said. “There was evidence of torture on the upper torso, and on the palms of his hand. There were needle marks on his right arm and on his left arm.” None of these details are noted in the U.S. autopsy report. “I am a law enforcement professional,” Al-Zahrani said. “I know what to look for when examining a body.”
The neck organs were removed before the bodies were returned to their home countries, thereby preventing independent autopsies from determining the cause of death. This, under Obama.By the way...
Horton's piece speaks of a secret facility which one guard informally calls "Camp No." I tried to look for this place on Google Earth, but Horton's directions turned out to be rather confusing. Camp No is said to be "between two plateaus" about a mile north of Camp Delta. A mile north of the compound which Google Earth labels "Delta," nothing is visible. Horton says that Camp No is near a beach; the shoreline is to the south. Horton also says that No is on the outskirts of Camp America, which is southwest of Camp Delta.
Maybe someone more knowledgeable about the area can clear the matter up.