Guantanamo suicides a 'PR move'* [to draw attention]

GITMOirons.jpg
no, unfortunately this image is very real, and not Trompe l'oeil [the Yahoo! News caption for the picture begins: Leg irons and hand cuffs hang on a board at Camp Delta at Guantanamo Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba, in 2004.]


*
So reads the headline on the lead story on the BBC at the moment. The attribution for the description of the deaths of three prisoners in our Cuban concentration camp is the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy [my italics].

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.
We're expected to listen to our "public diplomat" explain their deaths as a bad career move, but we aren't allowed to know who any of these folks are?


[news tip from Barry; image, credited "AFP/Pool/File/Mark Wilson", from Yahoo! News]

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=861802006

"They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us" - Navy Rear-Admiral Schweinhund Stosstruppen Harry Harris, base commander

The World has not seen this level of racist sadistic military cruelty since the Third Reich. It simply must end the same exact way, war crime trials for the high command!

TO: Colleen.Graffy@pepperdine.edu

Dear Ms. Graffy:

I am writing to you to remark upon the incredibly ignorant statement you made regarding the three recent suicides at Gitmo. The lack of knowledge about the causes of suicide which you demonstrated in your profoundly stupid remarks leaves me breathless for the sheer lack of understanding of an issue which is the 11th leading cause of death among Americans. (Anderson RN, Smith BL. Deaths: leading causes for 2001. National Vital Statistics Report 2003;52(9):1-86.), not to mention what incarceration without hope of release for charges unknown must do to a person. How would you like to be locked up without any knowledge of charges against you, in a land not your own, without any sense whether or not you would ever leave alive? Perhaps you should try it.

Annual rates of suicide in this country are over 30,000 per year, more than 650,000 Americans are hospitalized each year following suicide attempts, and over 116,000 are treated in hospital emergency departments for same. Among US males, suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for all US men and males are four more times likely to die from suicide than females. And this is not even beginning to quote numbers related to female and teen deaths. But don't take it from me, Ms. Graffy, check out the website of one of your fellow-governmental agencies, the CDC--that's the Centers for Disease Control in case you had failed to note its existence-- http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/suifacts.htm . There you will see a tidy introduction to a subject in which you are woefully ignorant and which all your degrees have obviously not prepared you to understand or speak about.

I come from a family which, in the last one hundred years, has experienced over a dozen suicides in its ranks. So, yeh, I tend to be rather sensitive to the issue. We are what you would call patriotic Americans, as a whole, and have done more than our share to contribute to the life of the nation in ways very big and small. To see you liken suicide as an act of warfare against the US would be funny if it were not so cruel and unfeeling. But then, cruel and unfeeling is probably how you have risen to the position you presently enjoy at State.

Do us all a favor, Ms. Graffy, and shut your mouth about subjects for which you are woefully under-qualified and under-experienced to comment. Step outside of your fishbowl of an office and limited circle of acquaintances, take a drive sometime and see the world beyond the Beltway. Touch base with reality. You are in many ways as imprisoned as the people you are verbally abusing at Gitmo.

Very Truly Yours,
Robert Pell-deChame