Monday, June 13, 2005

Rep. Hunter’s Denial Diet
Rep. Hunter’s Denial Diet

Tales of abuse, torture and humiliation at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are well-known. Last year, internal FBI memos showed methods used at the camp included leaving prisoners “in their own feces,” chaining them “in ice-cold or super-hot cells” and exposing them to sensory deprivation, beatings and terrifying dogs.

In its recent issue, Time Magazine obtained a log kept at Guantanamo Bay detailing the treatment of Detainee 063, Mohammed al-Qahtani. One military official described it as the “kind of document that was never meant to leave Gitmo.” It describes various forms of humiliation and abuse:

“They strip-search him and briefly make him stand nude. They tell him to bark like a dog and growl at pictures of terrorists. They hang pictures of scantily clad women around his neck.” In another instance, “a dog was used ‘in an aggressive manner to intimidate Detainee #63.” By the end of his “interrogation” period, “al-Qahtani had been ’subjected to intense isolation for over three months’ and ‘was evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma (talking to non existent people, reporting hearing voices, crouching in a cell covered with a sheet for hours on end).”

So how did Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) respond to the ongoing tales of serious abuse at Guantanamo Bay?

Now, how do we treat these people? I sent down yesterday for the menu from Guantanamo, so that the average American could understand how we’re brutalizing people in Guantanamo, and I’ve got it right here. For Sunday they’re going to be having – let me see – orange-glazed chicken, fresh fruit groupe, steamed peas and mushrooms, rice pilaf, another form of torture for the hijackers. We treat them very well.

Warning to Rep. Hunter: Denial leaves a bitter aftertaste.