Hunger strikes among an estimated 100 detainees have continued to worsen, with the military now conceding that as many as 28 are “officially” hunger striking, and three of the detainees have been hospitalized as their conditions deteriorate. 10 others are also being force-fed.
The deteriorating health is largely what was expected, as hunger strikers have been taking water, but no food for months, and medical experts have warned that permanent consequences could happen soon, with deaths possible in a matter of weeks.
The hunger strikes began after the confiscation of several detainees’ Qu’rans, and is continuing with many detainees resenting being held without charges more or less forever.
The military has been very slow in recognizing strikers, and even today continues to insist that it believes many of the detainees are “cheating” and sneaking snacks when they aren’t looking.
The “not looking” factor has been the Pentagon’s go-to excuse for not recognizing the strikers as real, insisting that they deliver communal meals and don’t really keep an eye on who is eating and who isn’t, and insisting that the numbers cited by human rights lawyers are “exaggerated.” Yet with Pentagon recognitions jumping several-fold in the past week, they are rapidly coming to admit the problem.
With many of the detainees already approved for release, it would be a particular embarrassment if some of them began dying in hunger strikes simply because the Obama Administration hasn’t gotten around to letting them go for so long. This was a driving factor behind not admitting the problem was real in the first place, but with it clearly not going away, there will hopefully be some move to give in to detainee demands.
4 thoughts on “Three Hospitalized as Gitmo Hunger Strike Continues to Worsen”
This is in keeping with the great tradition of the American kangaroo courts.
The first hunger strikers tried their ploy back in early 2002, when I was the ranking U.S. Army Medical Department officer with the Joint Detainee Operations Group, Joint Task Force 160, U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They were successful in having feeding tubes gently inserted down their throats and then being fed Infamil to restore their nourishment. These unlawful combatant Islamist extremists are disrupting detention operations, just as they were trained to do, and as long as there are sympathetic ears and eyes, they will continue. On a purely humanitarian point, they are CHOOSING to starve themselves, and we are DUTY BOUND, morally, ethically, and legally to prevent them from harming themselves.
In my early years as a dissident, I went on a hunger strike and after four days they let me go without charge. I still can remember the judge's words, "You know why we held you in solitary confinement, don't you? You were disrespectful toward the officer."
Yes it would be an embarassment… if the American people cared. But they just don't care and what's in the news one day is often gone forever the next day. We have no conscience… or rather our conscience is locked up in 'isolation' (goes by the name of Bradley Manning) so it won't bother us. Barack Obama is president ! Hooray!
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