Ex-SAS man who made torture claims gagged

The Guardian reports that former SAS soldier Ben Griffin has been served with a high court order yesterday preventing him from making fresh disclosures about how hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans captured by British and American special forces were rendered to prisons where they faced torture. [via]

The full text of the statement he read at a press conference hosted by the Stop the War Coalition is available here.

Guantanamo suicides a ‘PR move’

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Colleen Graffy has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move to draw attention”.

Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause”, but taking their own lives was unnecessary.

But lawyers say the men who hanged themselves had been driven by despair.

A military investigation into the deaths is under way, amid growing calls for the centre to be moved or closed.

The suicides may have brought the Guatnanamo Bay detention camp back into the news but I don’t think that any rational person could believe that the suicides were designed to draw attention. It’s not like the camp is not an albatross around the neck of the US government in any case.

It has probably been the greatest tool for recruitment to the ranks of Al-Qaeda ever. It undermines the reputation of the US around the world amongst nations friendly to it and feeds it’s enemies by giving them a talisman of propoganda about how the US hates Muslims and mistreats and tortures them.

What makes the notion that the suicides were just “a tactic to further the jihadi cause” even more sickening is the news that one of the three detainess was due to be released but hadn’t been informed yet by the American officals.

Seriously if he was considered to be of such a low level of threat that he would be released is he really likely to commit suicide as an “act of asymmetric warfare”.

Asymmetric warfare by suicide

BBC News: Guantanamo suicides ‘acts of war’

These are the first suicides at the base, despite dozens of attempts
The suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amount to acts of war, the US military says.

The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were “committed” and had killed themselves in “an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us”.

That’s just sickening isn’t it.

How dare they commit suicide. Think of the poor US soldier that had to discover their dead bodies how he must have suffered to see such a sight, that must surely be a breach of his human rights no soldier should have to experience such horrors. The sooner the detainment camp at Guantanamo Bay is closed the sooner these US servicemen can return home and no longer have to suffer at the hands of the terrorists.

Who knows if these were indeed members of Al-Qaeda committed to destroying the US through their own suicide or if they were innocents picked up by the Northern Alliance and sold to the US military who through despair took what they saw as the only possible route out of their unending detention.

I don’t think the line given by camp commander Rear Adm Harry Harris that

I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.

really stands up to analysis.

Martyrdom is only effective if the outside world and one’s followers are aware of the sacrifice. But the detainees have no contact with the outside world they could not possibly know that their deaths would be reported. Would they really make such an empty sacrifice as an act of war against the United States.