Who could have predicted? Moral authority and Gitmo's desperate prisoners

Who could have predicted?

by digby

Oh heck, looks like we lost our moral authority after all:

A day after the United States imposed sanctions on Russians accused of rights violations, Moscow said Saturday that it could not “leave this open blackmail without response” and published a list of 18 current and former American officials who will now be barred from entry to Russia.

The list is headed by four men who Russia’s Foreign Ministry says are responsible for “the legalization of torture” and “unlimited detention”: David Addington, who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and provided legal support for interrogation policies; John Yoo, a high-ranking Bush administration lawyer who wrote several major opinions on torture; and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller and Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson, each of whom commanded detention operations in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

What did they expect?

I'm especially glad to see the artillery officer turned prison warden Geoffrey D Miller included. Or as I used to call him back in my more freewheeling blogging days, General Geoffrey D. Ripper.

Speaking of General Ripper and Admiral Harbeson, I couldn't help but think about then when I read this piece of lazy tripe earlier today. I urge you to read the whole thing, it's just astonishingly idiotic, but I thought I would highlight this particular passage:
Suicide is another effective way of getting media attention, and there remains a rumor among detainees that three simultaneous suicides would force the Pentagon to close Guantanamo — despite three suicides already happening in 2006.
Right. It's not possible that being innocent, knowing they know you're innocent and being locked up basically forever would make a person suicidal. It must be a plot to embarrass the United States.

The US Government has always had a hard time rationalizing the horrifying despair of the prisoners in its notorious prison camp and they have come up with a number of different approaches. This one is only slightly less fatuous than one I wrote about a number of times back in 2006.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mad Hatter 
by digby

I wrote a post a couple of days ago quoting Admiral Henry Harris, the commander of Guantanamo saying there are no innocent men imprisoned there and that those who committed suicide were committing an "act of asymmetric warfare waged against us." It struck me as absurd that hanging yourself in your cage could be considered an act of war and I thought this guy was likely taking the notion of "suiciders" to some ridiculous conclusion.  

But I came upon another quote from him saying something even more absurd:
Rear Admiral Harris is adamant that the people in his care are well looked after and are enemies of the United States. 
He told me they use any weapon they can - including their own urine and faeces - to continue to wage war on the United States.
Where do they find these nutballs to send down there to Guantanamo? First Geoffrey Miller and now this kook. Apparently he believes that any act of resistance by these people who are imprisoned in cages is an act of war.  
It seems to me that far too many Americans have worked themselves into some sort of hysteria, including this loon running Gitmo. When heavily guarded people in cages throwing feces is considered assymetrical warfare, we have gone down the rabbit hole. (Either that or a couple of toddlers I know are in training to be the next Osama bin Laden.) Does this man think he's actually fighting terrorists down there?  
The men being held in Guantanamo might have been terrorists, but when they are under the total control of the most powerful military in the world they are most definitely not combatants, they are prisoners. It's not an act of war to dislike your jailers or resist your imprisonment. That's absurd.  
These people need to get a grip before they give themselves heart attacks from irrational fear. Those prisoners are just human beings not aliens from outer space. 
And now we know that almost all of them were innocent.