Thursday, October 05, 2006

Whose prison?

Claudia Rosett describes her visits to Guantanamo Bay. “Security guards detach name strips from their uniforms … direct attacks and threats from the inmates, but threats against their families. Detainees have made weapons out of light bulbs, fan blades … detainees use the lawyer-client privileges they enjoy as a clandestine communications network both inside and outside the camp … “a fully tricked-out al-Qaeda operating cell.” Also, Patterico has a series of interviews with a nurse working at Guantanamo Bay: loosely titled the man who has spoken to terrorists, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Here's Claudia's full description of what she found in the prison.

What we saw is a place so steeped in political correctness that it comes close to caricature. Make no mistake: The detainees occupy cells in a high-security facility. But almost every room has an arrow on the floor pointing to Mecca. Signs demanding silence stand ready for prayer time. Korans are cradled in surgical masks. Detainees are interrogated while sitting on sofas or cushioned reclining chairs.

They choose from a halal menu including such home-style treats as dates and baklava. Doctors, dentists and psychiatrists (offering confidential counseling) are on 24-hour call. Good behavior is rewarded with access to board games, books and communal areas, including more time in recreational yards - where we saw a group of detainees chatting around a table, while one of their cohorts nearby, at leisurely speed in the afternoon heat, pedaled an exercise bike.

An officer tells me that earlier this year Guantanamo was buying bottled water that had an American flag on the label. Lest this upset the detainees, base personnel were put to work stripping off the labels.

At the same time, there is a deadly game going on in this camp.

Security guards detach name strips from their uniforms when going near the detainees. Some of the guards, we are told, have been on the receiving end not only of direct attacks and threats from the inmates, but threats against their families. Detainees have made weapons out of light bulbs, fan blades, the footpads of their Asian-style toilets, and the springs in their push-button sinks. Guards tell us that detainees use the lawyer-client privileges they enjoy as a clandestine communications network both inside and outside the camp. What exists in the inmate culture, Harris explains, is, in effect, "a fully tricked-out al-Qaeda operating cell."

Patterico's Part 4 describes a side of Gitmo you don't always get from the press. It centers around the recollections of a nurse who describes his daily conversations with the detainees; men of who have threatened him and his family with the cold matter-of-factness of a hit man telling his victim that being at the bottom of the food chain was the victim's dumb luck. And to show you what they mean they'll attack you in prison. Here's an excerpt from Patterico's post.

The attacks on military personnel could be brutal, he explained:

Consider that flinging “cocktails” of urine, feces, saliva, sperm, vomitus, and combinations thereof was threatened daily by detainees and performed several times each week. Also, verbal abuse from detainees was very common. . . . This was in addition to physical assaults on guards with everything from shanks, kicks, elbows, and a variety of rather clever makeshift weapons. ... We were told about one female medic who had to have major reconstructive surgery on her face following a detainee assault. She was too close to the beanhole (door opening) and the detainee was able to reach out, grab her head, and pull her face-first into the steel frame of the door, shattering most of the facial bone structure. ...

But what could you do to a detainee who smashed every bone in a  female nurse's face? Send him to Guantanamo? On the other hand, you could always court-martial the guards. Or worse, feed them to the ACLU.

I pressed for more detail on incidents of excessive force against, or mistreatment of, the detainees. How many such incidents occurred while Stashiu was there? Were the detainees injured badly? Were the offenders court-martialed? What happened to them?

There were maybe 4 or 5 incidents that I heard of. At least one resulted in a courts-martial. The rest were punished because no matter how provoked you were, that was the job. I am not aware of anyone who messed with a detainee without being struck first, but being struck was not a license to retaliate. We were only allowed enough of a response to defend ourselves and disengage or contain the detainee. Any gratuitous response was worth at least a field-grade level non-judicial punishment (fairly harsh and pretty damaging to a career, but not necessarily a career-killer).

But it may not just be Guantanamo that may be come "a fully tricked-out al-Qaeda operating cell." US Federal prisons may be vulnerable as well. The Associated Press/Breitbart reports that some convicted terrorists continue their careers behind bars, in one instance communicating with the Madrid train bombers.

Mail for convicted terrorists and other dangerous federal inmates isn't being fully read by prison authorities, and that is a risk to national security, a Justice Department review concluded Tuesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons is supposed to translate and screen all mail to and from the highest-risk inmates — including terrorists ... But that target was not being met consistently at 10 federal prisons and detention centers surveyed by the Justice Department's inspector general. "The threat remains that terrorist and other high-risk inmates can use mail and verbal communications to conduct terrorist or criminal activities while incarcerated," concluded the report by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. ... it is largely too cash- strapped to afford enough staff to sort through the thousands of letters and other pieces of mail federal prisons receive each week — what Bureau of Prisons Director Harley G. Lappin described to inspectors as searching for "a needle in a haystack."

Experts fear that a new generation of homegrown terrorists is being bred in prison and, after release, they will seek guidance from Islamic extremists still behind bars. The Justice Department's mail investigation was spurred, in part, after three convicted terrorists at a federal maximum-security prison in Florence, Colo., were found to have written an estimated 90 letters between 2002 and 2004 to Islamic extremists — some with links to the March 11, 2004, attacks on commuter trains in Madrid. Some of the letters later surfaced in the hands of a terror suspect who used them to recruit suicide operatives.


The process through which terrorist suspects have converted Guantanamo Bay into "a fully tricked-out al-Qaeda operating cell" illustrates asymmetrical warfare at its finest. By exploiting the vulnerabilities of the American system its enemies not only escape its force, they are actually able to go onto the offensive against it. Their strength lies in being able to understand the way the American system works in an unblinkered, politically incorrect way. While political pundits agonize endlessly over whether certain "privileges" and rules of engagement enable terrorism — often arguing that they do not — terrorists understand that they actually do. And their activities are a validation and testament to the correctness of their understanding. One of the greatest weaknesses of the West in the face of the terrorist threat is in it's inability to see the truth. Terrorists know the truth. They see the vital organs of their victim delicately exposed and its fragile lifeblood pulsing pitifully beneath the skin.


Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Gee, I don't know... kill 'em all, let God sort them out?

10/05/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger TM Lutas said...

Clearly something has to change. Might I suggest that a refinement of what a combatant is and what a prisoner of war is? If you're coordinating combat operations from a prison or prison camp that should change the way you are treated. Pity that it doesn't seem to.

10/05/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

This is just so freaking absurd as to be unbelievable. It really is true that a few more thousands of us will have to die before we get pissed off enough to either force our politicians to defend us or to literally throw our Government away and start anew with a bunch of war fighters. My first thought after reading this crap was to imagine myself walking into the prisoners quarters and shooting a few of them with a .45. Then asking if anyone had any questions.

We are fighting a war....not playing cricket.

Cricket, War and Rules because you know we might become like them!

10/05/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

The first thing we should do is make it very clear to everyone in the U.S. Military that assignment to GITMO in any capacity consitutes a reason to vote with your feet. You always have an option to decline an assignment and get out, and they should avail themselves of that right 100%. The only other place I can think of where that should apply is a certain very large 5 sided building across the Potomac from Washington D.C.

The top brass under the orders of the politicans have created this situation and it should be dumped right back in their lap. The only way to win this game is to refuse to play.

10/05/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

This is just another example of the failure of leadership of American elites. If our elites had to serve the nation and take care of these primates -run-amok at Gitmo and US prisons then we wouldn't be reading commentaries such as this. But they don't and they won't. American elites have become disconected, effeminant nannies. And that is why America will lose this war with barbarians.

10/05/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

I do not believe that the United States will lose this war. I do believe we may lose the portion of our elite society who continually find rights for terrorists that do not exist. Mark my words the elite in this country believe that they are immune from any sort of effects should another huge terrorist attack occur in this country. They are mistaken.

No doubt it will be the common man as usual who takes the brunt of the casualties but the difference this time will be that once we pick ourselves up out of the rubble our angry glare will be cast in two directions at once. Both sides will bear the brunt of our righteous anger.

One towards the 7th century religion that stands by and silently applauds its warriors when they commit mass murder, they will pay this time and none of their protestations of innocence will suffice in a common man's view. But more deadly still will be our reaction towards those in power in our Universities, Press and Government who have allowed us once again to die in numbers to terrifying to consider. Those elites who have allowed this to happen because they wanted to fight a war in which they sacrificed nothing not even precious high ground while they demanded that others fight under the rules they came up with over tea and crumpets.

A terrible day is coming should we be attacked again. The Islamists and 5th columnists in this country should pray that no one is successful in attacking this country. They will start an inferno not even dante could have imagined.

10/05/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

French police claim local Muslims are waging an 'intifada' against them...

10/05/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Time for a change in the RoE. Don't take prisoners of war and don't take combatants into custody. When the ACLU lawyers show up and say "Where's our clients?" show them a highway of death. And don't tell me this will make it tougher for our troops because it will force the Islamists to fight to the death, because that's what they're doing now.

10/05/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ten Years of South Park

Their philosophical position about the Mohammed cartoon is that a free society shouldn’t be cowed by threats from Islamofascists.
“If you’re saying this is the one thing we can’t do — besides Tom Cruise — because they’re threatening violence,” said Parker,
“Well, then, I guess that’s what everyone should do. If the Catholics don’t want us ripping on Jesus anymore, then they should just threaten violence.
That’s why it’s such a slippery slope and such a dangerous path to go down.”

Still, they’re never afraid of “that random psycho” being so offended by a South Park episode that the psycho tracks them down and kills them. “We’re much more concerned with if the fans are going to like it or not,” said Stone.
The Islamist Cult of Death at Work in Iraq
October 3rd, 2006
“All those who hate me love death” – Jehovah, Proverbs 8:36
“We love death. The US loves life. That is the difference between us two.” – Osama bin Laden, November 2001
Superlatives are insufficient to describe the horror currently seen in Iraq: bags filled with severed human heads; scores of bodies found with the eyes drilled out; limbs amputated with power saws; crowds of Iraqi children blown to bits for accepting candy from American troops; pits filled with bodies of executed “collaborators”. These are the daily deeds of the self-proclaimed Islamic “freedom fighters” in Iraq – the Warriors of Jihad.
And in one of the most ghastly events in recent weeks – a female suicide bomber pushing into a crowd armed with a barrel full of ball-bearings and kerosene – those who were not instantly shredded to pieces agonizingly roasted to death as the flesh fell off their bodies. “Two pre-teen girls embraced each other as they burned to death,” was part of the description of the scene provided by the Washington Post. The body count was 38 – almost all women and children – in that incident alone.
Additionally, in just one shift this week, the Baghdad police reported finding 58 bodies and/or parts of corpses. To begin to get a grip on the scale of awful magnitude of the situation, consider that more people will be murdered by al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies in Iraq this month alone than all of the victims they killed on 9/11 (3,009 murdered in Iraq in August 2006 vs. 2,996 on 9/11). They seem intent on liquidating the entire populace in order to save them for the New World Caliphate.
This is not the first time that the modern jihad movement has turned their bloodlust against their own
The Iraq insurgency is little more than Jackass 2: The Movie with IEDs and automatic weapons.

10/05/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I do hope the next big Islamic attack happens in Europe rather than here..better they start the Big Ugly than us...but I believe we are primed..and some Lefties as well as Muslims may be metaphorically or litterally the object of deadly anger next time around.

10/05/2006 06:42:49 PM
I don't know c4. While you're begging for a bomb the europeans are groveling for a bomb.

while begging is impressive -- groveling beats begging. so I think the euros get it.

10/05/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

C4 I meant literally. I suspect that there are quite a few people just like me who are getting angrier and angrier about the nonsense that passes for thought these days amongst our elite. The left and much of the elite has been at war with those of us on my side for years and all we have done is blown it off. Kill a few hundred thousand of us because of fecklessness and we might not be so amused.

Imagine that we have STILL, my goodness I get angry just typing this out, still by god have not fired one single person inside of the government for allowing 19 disgruntled members of a failed culture to murder 3,000 of us. AND NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON WAS AT FAULT...the government takes us as fools. We give them Trillions of dollars and they managed to allow 19 thugs to perpetuate the worst mass murder terrorist strike in F@(#ING HISTORY. AND NOT ONE SINGLE MOTH...F@#$ER got fired.

Someone please explain how this can be? We are not making war because by god if we were making war those assholes in Guantanamo would not be doing anything but yes sir how high sir.

Prisoner gets out of line and you take two of them up for a flight in a Blackhawk. At about the same height of WTC-1 you stop open the door and throw one out so he lands right in the midst of his mates below.

If they need volunteers to do the dirty work I will. Not because I want to do such things but because such things must be done.

We must strike terror into our enemies hearts. They must tremble at our approach, anything else won't work. Because our enemy is so worshipful of death it will take a lot to terrify them. But it can be done. We must crush their will to fight. Everytime one of them picks up a knife to cut his meat he must tremble at the thought we might take offense.

War is cruel and any attempt to make it less cruel serves only to prolong it. We have managed to make the everlasting war by our reluctance to wage total war. We are merely giving them time to strike us...and they will not be attempting to wage a less cruel war.

More thoughts on the War against Islamic Terror

10/05/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were chosen to symbolize the entire war on terrorism. It was a clever move, because propagandists understand that hatred needs a focus; and if you wanted to stop a war, the best thing to do was focus on the killing and the binding and the burying. Until you forgot what the whole war was about and simply saw the killing and the binding and the burying.

But the propagandists were too clever by half; because nothing they did could alter the reality that those watching their movie were attacked and continued to be attacked even as they sat mesmerized in their seats. Their narrative was as to their audience, as the paralyzing venom of the ichneumon wasp is to its victim. It provided immobility without conferring immunity. Now the audience is dimly aware that it is being eaten alive even as it is spellbound and strains at it's paralysis. And one day a nerve will be touched which will sweep away their restraints. Then the propagandists will not longer have a compliant audience, but a maddened and frightened crowd upon a rampage.

This was the easiest war to win cleanly had we intended to win. It is also the likeliest to end tragically for all should we lack the will.

10/05/2006 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

Prior to OIF, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, et al were terrified of what the US might do since all of the tyrants knew what they were capable of doing had their 'nation' been attacked ala WTC/Pentagon. Up until the contractor roast in Fallujah that fear bore fruit. Our unwillingness to immediately put Fallujah under the sword was our undoing. The timid process of winning hearts and minds has underscored our lack of will to victory. Coupled with treason at home we have checkmated ourselves.

Now we have Pakistan, Iran and North Korea thumbing their noses at us and even weak little Venezuela mocking the America. Does this look like a nation winning a war? Or Rome before the barbarians made demands outside the wall?

These failures are the result of the reckless leadership of our elites rather than failures of ordinary Americans.

Does anyone really think we need to "refine what a combatant is and what a prisoner of war is"? Oprah or mobs with ropes?

10/06/2006 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

pierre is right.

With few rare exceptions, our so-called leadership classes don't seem very enthusiastic about mounting a robust defense, despite the trillions in taxes we pay them to do so.

Our hothouse-flower elites can no longer tell when they're being snookered by third world charlatans, gangster-statemen or UN/NGO con men.

Accustomed as they might be to ruthless competition in boardrooms, politics and the pinnacles of power in civilized societies, they are clearly unprepared for what we face.

They are allowing our institutions to be gamed by those who seek to destroy them.

As we used to say: 'A' in the clessroom, 'F' on the street.

10/06/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre said...

And one day a nerve will be touched which will sweep away their restraints. Then the propagandists will not longer have a compliant audience, but a maddened and frightened crowd upon a rampage.

This was the easiest war to win cleanly had we intended to win. It is also the likeliest to end tragically for all should we lack the will.

I would only add that being frightened is not a bad thing. Being frightened is honoring the threat and only a fool does not honor the threat. All the years that I did Judo never once did I enter a match with no fear. People who don't get scared are loons and you should stay far away from them. Being scared is ok being paralyzed by your fear is the detestable. Fear is to be managed, not denied. Fear can focus your efforts and strengthen your blows.

No the part which will drive the common man to finally take matters into his own hands is his finally realizing that he is not being defended by the Government and the Elite. No instead he is being offered up as a sacrifice so that they can sleep well at night and be able to look at themselves in the mirror. It will not be fear that drives us but sheer bloody anger. Anger at being taken for a ride. Anger at being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Anger at the sweat of our brows being wasted into pits of immorality and waste that defines our government.

No Wretchard, finally it will be simple anger which will drive them from our sight.

10/06/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A known insurgent who had been captured three times, then released.

Prosecutors have said that the servicemen killed Awad out of frustration and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle and a shovel by the body to make it look as if he had been caught digging a hole for a roadside bomb.

Bacos testified that the squad entered Hamdaniya on April 26 while searching for a known insurgent who had been captured three times, then released.

Squad leader Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins was "just mad that we kept letting him go and he was a known terrorist," Bacos said.

10/06/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Belmont Club compatriot has written:

"It is because the ACLU Jews and the Euroweenies and the remaining organs of the post-Communist Left elites are still so powerful that we force our guards (in US prisons or terrorist internment facilities) NOT to behave rationally."

I say! So, it's the Lefties who force you into the criminal life, eh?

Tough break, eh, to be so cursed, six years in power, six of the last nine administrations you've had the upper hand, still failures, perverts and pouffters, one and all. All that time you've held the reigns of power and yet the Lefties still force you into criminal behavior. Alas, they can't seem to force you to pay your dues and do the time, can they? Hurts you more than it does us, I wager.

You never could take responsibility. Nazis and traitors never could; your competence manifests itself as a good Massacre of the Innocents once in a while, that's about it.

You buggers'll soon be blaming all of your failures all on the Global Warming, won't you now. Sissies and bullies every one of you. Queers all in the closet acting all high and moral. No wonder you're losing the war. Patriotic frauds and poseurs and con-jobs, every one of you.

10/07/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ed Darrell said...

And Bush's program to torture them and keep them from trial helps the guards exactly how?

I'm all for squashing the evil of Al Quaeda, but it's clear that nothing the Bush administration has in mind is anything but vengeance. We need to fight this fight with better tools and more thought. The Spanish Inquisition was unable to squash Judaism, despite a hundred years of torture. Students of history might pay attention.

10/10/2006 09:18:00 PM  

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