It’s doubtful POWs returned from Guantanamo Bay will be a terrorist threat again, if they ever were. Some appear to be drivers or other low-level soldiers and others are in Gitmo because of revenge denunciations by rivals. All have been kept under such social isolation that, like tortured American citizen Jose Padilla, their minds are gone from solitary confinement. One of the few allowed inside, forbidden to say much about conditions in the still secret prison, Camp 7 (also known as Camp Platinum), whose very location on Guantanamo Bay has always been hidden, is defense attorney James Connell. After a short guided visit he was allowed to say, “It’s much more isolating than any other facility that I have known. I’ve done cases from the Virginia death row and Texas death row and these pretrial conditions are much more isolating.”
The prisoners claim ongoing sleep deprivation tactics. One inmate accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks was given drugs intended for bi-polar disorder without being involved in the diagnosis. US attorneys say his sleep claims are delusions but that he is still competent to stand trial. He claims PTSD from CIA torture while he was held in Pakistan prior to being ‘reverse redacted’ to the solitary hell hole of Gitmo. US attorneys deny that too.
Connell says, “You think about ordinary prison, a person in a prison can have a radio, can watch TV, can watch the news and know what’s going on in the world, a person in an ordinary prison can call their family, call their lawyer, they can write letters to their lawyer that aren’t monitored, they can write letters to their family that aren’t monitored. This facility, and indeed this whole proceeding, is set up to keep them from communicating what happened to them.”
It has been shown over and over that solitary confinement alone, a favorite of our lucrative for-profit prison industry, will drive men mad, even without sleep deprivation, constant darkness, cold cells, bad food, constant surveillance, water torture (or its threat), ‘stress positions’, dehumanization, sexual humiliation, rape, and the old standby and prison favorite-beatings.
It is not as if there is anyone the POWs can complain to. With no accountability or access, our government and our military feel confident treating them, not as POWs, but as evil, soul-less non-persons. Therefore they will become broken and insane.
So rest easy GOP, none of them will have the mental capacity to attack any US interest. Judging by exchanged POW [deserter?] Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s apparent mental state, such treatment quickly breaks a person’s mind and will. But unfortunately for the United State’s moral image, the returnees will be able to finally tell the world just what truly evil fuckers we are.
Photos courtesy cdn theatlantic.com and the New York Times.
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