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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Gen. Myers vs. Reality

Posted by: Hammer / 11:08 AM

General Richard Myers criticized the Amnesty International report on Guantanamo Bay:
"How do you handle people who... who aren't part of a nation-state effort, that are picked up on the battlefield... that if you release them, or if you let them go back to their home countries, that would turn right around and try to slit our throats, our children's throats?" he said.

"The president said we'll treat people humanely and in accordance with the Geneva Convention. We're doing that."

He said the International Committee of the Red Cross had had access to Guantanamo "from the day we opened the gates".

"I mean essentially, they've (ICRC) been there the whole time. And we get good marks for the way we take care of people," he added.

What does the ICRC say about Guantanamo?
Red Cross blasts Guantanamo

A top Red Cross official has broken with tradition by publicly attacking conditions at the US military base on Cuba where al-Qaeda suspects are being held.

Christophe Girod - the senior Red Cross official in Washington - said it was unacceptable that the 600 detainees should be held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay without legal safeguards.

The Red Cross is the only organisation with access to the detainees.

His criticism came as a group of American former judges, diplomats and military officers called on the US Supreme Court to examine the legality of holding the foreign nationals for almost two years, without trial, charge or access to lawyers.

Mr Girod said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was making the unusually blunt public statement because of a lack of action after previous private contacts with American officials.

"One cannot keep these detainees in this pattern, this situation, indefinitely," he said during a visit to the US naval base where the Taleban and al-Qaeda suspects are being held.

...Although he did not criticise any physical conditions at the camp, he said that it was intolerable that the complex was used as "an investigation centre, not a detention centre".

The ICRC's criticism was leveled 18 months ago. In November, further concerns were highlighted:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has accused the U.S. military of using tactics "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

An ICRC inspection team that spent most of June at Guantanamo Bay reported the use of psychological and sometimes physical coercion on the prisoners, the newspaper said.

It said it had recently obtained a memorandum that quoted the report in detail and listed its major findings.

In Geneva, the ICRC said it would neither confirm nor deny the New York Times report -- in which allegations of treatment tantamount to torture go further than what the neutral intermediary has publicly stated before about inmates held at Guantanamo.

But, in a statement, the Geneva-based ICRC said it remained concerned that "significant problems regarding conditions and treatment at Guantanamo Bay have not yet been adequately addressed," and it was pursuing talks with U.S. authorities.

Then, this month, the ICRC revealed:
The International Committee of the Red Cross gathered "credible" reports about U.S. personnel at the Guantanamo Bay naval base disrespecting the Quran and raised the issue with the Pentagon several times, a group spokesman said Thursday.

Simon Schorno said the allegations were made by detainees to Red Cross representatives who visited the detention facility throughout 2002 and 2003.

These reports do not amount to "good marks". The ICRC deals directly with the federal government. We don't know the full extent of the ICRC's concerns. We do know that the ICRC has criticized the lack of legal safeguards; has called treatment of prisoners "tantamount to torture"; and specifically alerted the government about possible abuse of the Koran. And Gen. Myers has the audacity to go on Fox News and say he's gotten good marks from the ICRC. That's an appalling lack of honesty.

6 Comments:

To: Amnesty International:

YOU ARE DISGUSTING TRAITORS!

We are at WAR and you are spewing LIES about how prisoners are being
treated in Guantanamo Bay! The International Red Cross is there, 24/7 (a
FACT), and they would have told the world if the lies you are telling were
facts. You should examine your consciences and ask yourself why you are
doing this.

FACT: We are spending 2.5 BILLION dollars a year just to feed those
prisoners according to their law. FACT. We have provided thousands of
Korans in 13 different languages for those prisoners. FACT: There is a 10
page ((not sure exactly how many but VERY explicit) directive issued by US
authorities, laying out the rules for how the Koran should be handled. A
few small violations of those rules happened. (e.g. someone forgot to put
on their gloves before picking it up, or one got dropped. Too bad.)

You haven't been able to achieve your US goals honestly, so you are now
using the oldest tactic of really bad people. i.e. Tell lies big and
long enough and SOMEONE will believe them. I used to respect you and your
goals, but you have now gone off the rails. I will never give you another
penny and I am sending this email to everyone I know. You are rapidly
losing the respect of honest people.

Virginia M Lange
Sarasota
Florida

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:20 PM  

To: Amnesty International:

YOU ARE DISGUSTING TRAITORS!

We are at WAR and you are spewing LIES about how prisoners are being
treated in Guantanamo Bay! The International Red Cross is there, 24/7 (a
FACT), and they would have told the world if the lies you are telling were
facts. You should examine your consciences and ask yourself why you are
doing this.

FACT: We are spending 2.5 BILLION dollars a year just to feed those
prisoners according to their law. FACT. We have provided thousands of
Korans in 13 different languages for those prisoners. FACT: There is a 10
page ((not sure exactly how many but VERY explicit) directive issued by US
authorities, laying out the rules for how the Koran should be handled. A
few small violations of those rules happened. (e.g. someone forgot to put
on their gloves before picking it up, or one got dropped. Too bad.)

You haven't been able to achieve your US goals honestly, so you are now
using the oldest tactic of really bad people. i.e. Tell lies big and
long enough and SOMEONE will believe them. I used to respect you and your
goals, but you have now gone off the rails. I will never give you another
penny and I am sending this email to everyone I know. You are rapidly
losing the respect of honest people.

Virginia M Lange
Sarasota
Florida

By Blogger Chester_Durkin, at 6:26 PM  

Well stated.

By Blogger Chester_Durkin, at 6:26 PM  

You are desperately misinfornmed.

The ICRC is not a Guantanamo 24/7. According to the ICRC: "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been regularly visiting the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay since early 2002 for the purpose of monitoring that persons held there are treated in accordance with applicable international laws and standards."


According to Global Security.org, the facilities at Guantanamo can hold about 800 prisoners. if the United States spent $2.5 billion per year to feed those prisoners, that would mean the United States was spending in excess of $8000 per day to feed each detainee.

If you really believe we spend $8000 per day per detainee on food, there is no help for you. Someone is telling big, big lies -- but it's not Amnesty International.

By Blogger Hammer, at 9:35 PM  

If Haliburton is subcontracting the feeding of the prisoners at Gitmo, then they might be "spending" 8000.00 per day.

By Blogger Roy, at 11:36 PM  

Good point, Roy. I'll try to track down the start of the $2.5 billion claim. These things usually have interesting beginnings.

By Blogger Hammer, at 7:29 AM  

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