September 13, 2002
Bleats from the Bedwetters

(Profanity Alert: The last paragraph contains very strong language, and multiple profanities. Those who are offended by coarse language should stop reading prior to the last graph)

The Mirror, one of the few papers that can make the Guardian look like a paragon of objective journalism, is the source of this sniveling filth about the horrid treatment of the detainees at our base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I'm not going to dissect the article (The Rottweiler does that better than I could), but I do want to highlight a few passages in the article that irritate me to no end.

The Mirror quizzed guards, doctors, nurses and military officials during a heavily-escorted three-day visit.

Our every move was monitored. And it was difficult to get any information, either on or off the record.
But despite the tight restrictions the Mirror has pieced together the most accurate picture yet of life for the detainees. And it's not pretty.

Um, does that strike anyone else as just a tad self-serving on the part of the Mirror? And here's a news flash for you—they're prisoners of war! Conditions are not supposed to paradisal.

Doctor Commander James Radkee said: "Some have maladaptive, life-long behavioural problems."

Which are apparently our fault, from the general tone of the article.

The rear section of the cell has a 4ft x 4ft mesh window which allows - in theory - the breeze from the Caribbean to blow through the prison.
But the desert heat which sends temperatures soaring into the high 90s by 8am, coupled with intense humidity, means there's little fresh air, let alone wind, to cool off in.

If they were talking about the Cubans who live on the island without air conditioning (which they could not afford even if it were available), it would probably be portrayed as a "rejection of bourgeoise decadence" or perhaps "environmentally correct natural ventilation", but for the prisoners of war, it's maltreatment.

They get three meals a day, all halal approved, totalling around 2,700 calories.

Which is probably about 2000 calories more than they were receiving under the gentle hand of the Taliban regime. We must be trying to kill them through obesity!

Disgracefully, yet just within the guidelines of the Geneva Convention, they are allowed only two 15-minute showers a week when they are also given a freshly laundered orange two-piece prison suit.

Apparently, the Geneva Convention rules are no longer good enough.

Perhaps we should treat the prisoners the way American prisoners have been treated. Oh, wait, their treatment was far worse. Fuck the Mirror and its sanctimonious bullshit. These are probably the best-treated prisoners of war in history, yet these snievling assholes bitch about how we are not treating them well enough. I've had it with them. Their anti-military screaming offends me greatly, and I've read too many accounts of the <sarcasm> kid-glove treatment </sarcasm> our soldiers have received at the hands of others. I don't recall the Mirror decrying the treatment of our pilots in Vietnam, Iraq 1991, or Bosnia, nor did they condemn the brutalization of our soldiers in Somalia in 1993. Only when a chance to bash America is presented do these cretins choose to cry about human-rights abuses. Stop the double standard NOW.

UPDATE 17SEP/9:50AM—George Paine at War Blogging has pointed out an error in my post. They are "battlefield detainees", not "Prisoners of War", as per the Bush Administration. My comment about them being prisoners of war is incorrect. Although, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.... In any case, since the administration wants to split hairs, Mr. Paine is quite correct.

posted on September 13, 2002 12:29 PM


I agree that generally the prisoners at Gitmo are being well treated. Your point towards the end about the treatment of American POWs cannot go unanswered though.

American POWs have never been treated well -- they've been tortured and deprived food, sent on hundred mile forced marches and more. The treatment of our boys overseas, however, should have no bearing on how we treat our prisoners. They must be treated well and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions -- otherwise we have no high ground from which to criticize the treatment of our soldiers overseas.

posted by George Paine on September 16, 2002 06:22 PM

I thought that the wording of my last paragraph made it clear that I didn't advocate treating the detainees poorly; I was attempting to convey my disgust at the double standard the Mirror advocates.

Of course, the Mirror apparently feels the Geneva Convention standards are not high enough. They didn't complain when it was our troops who were mistreated, but they needed 1705 words to bash the US because these accomplices to murder are not booked into suites at the Four Seasons or the Ritz-Carlton.

posted by timekeeper on September 17, 2002 09:40 AM

My apologies -- you're right.

My reaction was based simply on the fact that I don't think it's proper to compare the treatment of prisoners the US takes and US prisoners overseas. One shouldn't have anything to do with the other. But, rereading it's clear that you didn't mean that.

posted by George Paine on September 17, 2002 03:07 PM

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