The blabbermouth media formed a stampede over the weekend in a rush to publish a new round of Wikileaks documents on al Qaeda and Guantanamo Bay.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says “Meh,” noting “these revelations don’t reveal much at all about AQ plots in the past, nor their operations today. The most recent data in either report is years old. They are both interesting for purposes of background information, but neither tells much of a story on its own or together that we didn’t already know.”
Let me give you a case in point: The New York Times’ story today on how Gitmo detainees coordinated suicide stunts to try to shut the facility down.
Against that backdrop, a collection of secret detainee assessment files obtained by The New York Times reveal that the threat of suicide has created a chronic tension at the prison — a tactic frequently discussed by the captives and a constant fear for their captors.
The files for about two dozen detainees refer to suicide attempts or threats. Others mention informants who pass on rumors about which prisoner had volunteered to kill himself next and efforts to organize suicide attempts. Two prisoners were overheard weighing whether it would create enough time for someone to end his life if fellow prisoners blocked their cell windows, distracting guards who would have to remove the obstructions.
While medical officials struggled to keep hunger strikers alive, other officials were on constant alert for signs of trouble. In May 2008, a detainee ordered fellow prisoners to “stop singing that song; we will sing it on Monday when our brothers leave.” His file noted: “It was assessed he meant planning suicide attempts.”
…Several later assessments of other detainees make references to the three suicides. One such file, for example, mentions in passing that a prisoner reported that another detainee had told him “he had been approached and recruited by the three detainees who had committed suicide.”
And Mr. Ahmed’s brother, Muhammaed Yasir Ahmed Taher, who was also a detainee until his repatriation in 2009, wrote to a family member depicting Mr. Ahmed “as a martyr,” according to an assessment. An analyst concluded that both brothers “viewed the suicide as a continuance of their jihad against the US.”
Gitmo sympathizers continue to characterize the suicides/suicide attempts as acts of desperation by poor, innocent potato farmers and bystanders. But these were clear acts of asymmetric warfare by cunning, cold-blooded jihadists versed in exploitation of Western sensibilities.
I said so all throughout 2005 and 2006, when the Close Gitmo cult was in full force during the Bush years.
Flashback June 2006: The Gitmo suicide was staged
Flashback June 2006: The Gitmo suicide stunt
Flashback July 2006: Gitmo suicide pact, boo-freaking-hoo part deux
Flashback June 2005:
The mainstream media and international human rights organizations have relentlessly portrayed the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as a depraved torture chamber operated by sadistic American military officials defiling Islam at every turn. It’s the “gulag of our time,” wails Amnesty International. It’s the “anti-Statue of Liberty,” bemoans New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.
Have there been abuses? Yes. But here is the rest of the story — the story that the Islamists and their sympathizers don’t want you to hear.
According to recently released FBI documents, which are inaccurately heralded by civil liberties activists and military-bashers as irrefutable evidence of widespread “atrocities” at Gitmo:
A significant number of detainees’ complaints were either exaggerated or fabricated (no surprise given al Qaeda’s explicit instructions to trainees to lie). One detainee who claimed to have been “beaten, spit upon and treated worse than a dog” could not provide a single detail pertaining to mistreatment by U.S. military personnel. Another detainee claimed that guards were physically abusive, but admitted he hadn’t seen it.
Another detainee disputed one of the now-globally infamous claims that American guards had mistreated the Koran. The detainee said that riots resulted from claims that a guard dropped the Koran. In actuality, the detainee said, a detainee dropped the Koran then blamed a guard. Other detainees who complained about abuse of the Koran admitted they had never personally witnessed any such abuse, but one said he had heard that non-Muslim soldiers touched the Koran when searching it for contraband.
In one case, Gitmo interrogators apologized to a detainee for interviewing him prior to the end of Ramadan.
Several detainees indicated they had not experienced any mistreatment. Others complained about lack of privacy, lack of bed sheets, being unwillingly photographed, the guards’ use of profanity, and bad food.
If this is unacceptable, “gulag”-style “torture,” then every inmate in America is a victim of human rights violations. (Oh, never mind, there are civil liberties chicken littles who actually believe that.)
Erik Saar, who served as an army sergeant at Gitmo for six months and co-authored a negative, tell-all book about his experience titled Inside the Wire, inadvertently provides us more firsthand details showing just how restrained, and sensitive to Islam — to a fault, I believe — the officials at the detention facility have been.
Each detainee’s cell has a sink installed low to the ground, “to make it easier for the detainees to wash their feet” before Muslim prayer, Saar reports. Detainees get “two hot halal, or religiously correct, meals” a day in addition to an MRE (meal ready to eat). Loudspeakers broadcast the Muslims’ call to prayer five times a day.
Every detainee gets a prayer mat, cap and Koran. Every cell has a stenciled arrow pointing toward Mecca. Moreover, Gitmo’s library — yes, library — is stocked with Jihadi books. “I was surprised that we’d be making that concession to the religious zealotry of the terrorists,” Saar admits. “[I]t seemed to me that the camp command was helping to facilitate the terrorists’ religious devotion.” Saar notes that one FBI special agent involved in interrogations even grew a beard like the detainees “as a sort of show of respect for their faith.”
Unreality-based liberals would have us believe that America is systematically torturing innocent Muslims out of spite at Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, our own MPs have endured little-publicized abuse at the hands of manipulative, hate-mongering enemy combatants. Detainees have spit on and hurled water, urine and feces on the MPs. Causing disturbances is a source of entertainment for detainees who, as Gen. Richard Myers points out, “would turn right around and try to slit our throats, slit our children’s throats” if released.
The same unreality-based liberals whine about the Bush administration’s failure to gather intelligence and prevent terrorism. Yet, these hysterical critics have no viable alternative to detention and interrogation — and there is no doubt they would be the first to lambaste the White House and Pentagon if a released detainee went on to commit an act of mass terrorism on American soil.
Guantanamo Bay will not be the death of this country. The unseriousness and hypocrisy of the terrorist-abetting Left is a far greater threat.
Same as it ever was.