OpinionMeister

Monday, January 24, 2005

Mass Suicide Stopped

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article titled "Mass suicide at Guantanamo revealed. Link.

Twenty-three terror suspects tried to hang or strangle themselves at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay during a mass protest in 2003, the military confirmed today.(...)

Between August 18 and August 26, the 23 detainees tried to hang or strangle themselves with pieces of clothing and other items in their cells, demonstrating "self-injurious behaviour"(sic, actually it's the British spelling not an error), the US Southern Command in Miami said in a statement.

The slant of the article is that harsh interrogation techniques drove these men to suicide, but I read a very different slant into it. The fact that the men were able to coordinate shows that they are not exactly rotting in solitary confinement. Islamic extremists have long demonstrated their ability to find ready volunteers to kill themselves for the "good of the cause." Usually the suicide is done to kill numerous innocent people, but creating bad press for the American anti-terrorism effort also serves their purposes. We know that several terrorist organizations including Al Quida have become very sophisticated in manipulating the Western media. If these men had succeeded, imagine the furor in the MSM. Add to this the near certainty that when the terrorists claimed that the men had been murdered, much of the Western media would have believed them rather than the denials by the Bush administration. It's a good thing that they were stopped.



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