Scott Horton has written an article in Harpers that reveals the existence of a previously unknown facility in the GOP Gitmo Gulag. It appears that the deaths of three prisoners there, previously reported as suicides, were actually murders:
…Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently. Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, from Yemen, was thirty-seven. Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, from Saudi Arabia, was thirty. Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, also from Saudi Arabia, was twenty-two, and had been imprisoned at Guantánamo since he was captured at the age of seventeen. None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.
As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Guantánamo to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths “suicides.” In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. “I believe this was not an act of desperation,” he said, “but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” Reporters accepted the official account, and even lawyers for the prisoners appeared to believe that they had killed themselves. Only the prisoners’ families in Saudi Arabia and Yemen rejected the notion.
Two years later, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which has primary investigative jurisdiction within the naval base, issued a report supporting the account originally advanced by Harris, now a vice-admiral in command of the Sixth Fleet. The Pentagon declined to make the NCIS report public, and only when pressed with Freedom of Information Act demands did it disclose parts of the report, some 1,700 pages of documents so heavily redacted as to be nearly incomprehensible. The NCIS report was carefully cross-referenced and deciphered by students and faculty at the law school of Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and their findings, released in November 2009, made clear why the Pentagon had been unwilling to make its conclusions public. The official story of the prisoners’ deaths was full of unacknowledged contradictions, and the centerpiece of the report—a reconstruction of the events—was simply unbelievable...
...Now four members of the Military Intelligence unit assigned to guard Camp Delta, including a decorated non-commissioned Army officer who was on duty as sergeant of the guard the night of June 9–10, have furnished an account dramatically at odds with the NCIS report—a report for which they were neither interviewed nor approached.
All four soldiers say they were ordered by their commanding officer not to speak out, and all four soldiers provide evidence that authorities initiated a cover-up within hours of the prisoners’ deaths. Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman and men under his supervision have disclosed evidence in interviews with Harper’s Magazine that strongly suggests that the three prisoners who died on June 9 had been transported to another location prior to their deaths. The guards’ accounts also reveal the existence of a previously unreported black site at Guantánamo where the deaths, or at least the events that led directly to the deaths, most likely occurred... [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Harpers>
The story is sufficiently complex that for me to post as mush as I would like, I’d have to post the whole thing. Instead, I posted just enough to introduce it and strongly encourage you to click the above link and read the whole thing. Keith Olbermann and Scott Horton discussed the article on Countdown.
I’m quite concerned that the Obama administration is actively taking part in the cover-up. I see two possible reasons for this.
The first, and most likely, is that Obama is reluctant, per his campaign promise, to stir partisan rancor. If so, Obama is mistaken. The GOP stances on every issue could not be more partisan. They have used Obama’s repeated attempts at bipartisanship against both him and the best interests of America. Obama needs to put that behind him.
The second is that, if certain Democratic leaders were in the loop and signed off on Bush/GOP war crimes, Obama is trying to protect them. If so, Obama is mistaken. If there are Democrats who are complicit in war crimes, then they must also take accountability for their actions.
I’m sure we’ll be visiting this story again, as more information comes out.