Guardian – ‘Killing themselves was unnecessary. But it certainly is a good PR move’ : “It does sound like this is part of a strategy – in that they don’t value their own lives, and they certainly don’t value ours; and they use suicide bombings as a tactic,” Colleen Graffy, the deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, told BBC’s Newshour yesterday. “Taking their own lives was not necessary, but it certainly is a good PR move.” On Saturday, the camp’s commander, Navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris, said the suicides were an al-Qaida tactic. “They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us,” he said.
BBC – Guantanamo suicides a ‘PR move’: Speaking to the BBC’s Newshour programme, Ms Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, said the three men did not value their lives nor the lives of those around them. Detainees had access to lawyers, received mail and had the ability to write to families, so had other means of making protests, she said, and it was hard to see why the men had not protested about their situation.
The Herald – Suicides at Camp X-ray a publicity stunt, says US official: The three had taken part previously in extended hunger strikes and been force-fed. They all left suicide notes, but no details were made public.
Ignore for the moment the shocking inhumanity of this position and the bald-faced lie that these men had not protested about their situation, and take a moment to ponder on this message:
These men committed suicide, so what further* proof does one need that they are suicide bombers?
(*Not that the Bush administration has come up with any other proof of their guilt these past few years…. but surely their presence in Guantanamo Bay is proof in itself.)
UPDATE – BBC – Dead detainee ‘was to be freed’: One of the three men who committed suicide at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay was due to be released – but did not know it, says a US lawyer. Mark Denbeaux, who represents some of the foreign detainees said the man was among 141 prisoners due to be released. He said the prisoner was not told because US officials had not decided which country he would be sent to.
(Well, obviously they’ll need to review the other 140 cases. If someone earmarked for release is capable of an act of asymmetrical warfare, then there’s something profoundly wrong with the system.)