Guest Writings
 
  
12/6/06
When Suicide becomes Resistance by Mike Whitney
  

The only positive thing about Guantanamo is that no one seems particularly mystified by what Bush is doing. He’s tip-toed around the law by erecting his state-of-the-art concentration camp where the compliant Supreme Court won’t shut him down. That’s allowed Rumsfeld to skirt the niggling issues of habeas corpus and due process and establish a neocon haven for permanent detention.
 
      
    Still, no one is really taken in by the White House public relations campaign. The prison has only increased the recruiting efforts of groups like Al Qaida and fueled anti-American hatred around the world. It’s done nothing to fight terrorism, as all the recent polls clearly indicate. Instead, it’s just added another black stain to the already sullied reputation of the waning superpower.
 
    By most accounts, the inmates at Guantanamo are generally low-level militants or tribesman who were scooped up by the warlords and delivered to the US for the $1,000 bounty. The al Qaida kingpins have all been bundled off to torture-friendly allies who are more skilled in the dark art.
 
   The real purpose of Bush’s premier-gulag is to familiarize the American people with the tectonic shift in American justice. By shoving Guantanamo under their noses, the public is forced to accept this new and strange reality. “Everything has changed”; principles have been abandoned, commitments discarded, liberties forsaken. America will no longer play by the rules. There are no more guarantees on personal freedom; the law is being reshaped to meet the requirements of new world order. 
  
   That’s alot to absorb.
 
     Bush has shown that he has no intention of honoring any of the conventions or treaties that restrict the behavior of the state. Prisoners at Guantanamo have been deprived of the most basic civil liberties even the right to know why they are being detained. Bush asserts that he has absolute power over the lives of anyone he designates as an “enemy combatant”. This puts him squarely above the law.
  
  “There’s nothing wrong with a dictatorship, as long as I am the dictator,” Bush proclaimed.
  
 
   Americans are unaccustomed to their leaders boasting of their despotic ambitions. They are not used to hearing their president promote indefinite detention without judicial process. Guantanamo violates our most deeply held convictions and the fundamental principles which underscore the constitution. It is a vision of tyranny writ large by men who stand well outside of our traditions and our devotion to individual freedom. Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney are not really Americans at all, but “globalists” with a world view that is essentially elitist and autocratic.
 
    After 4 years of imprisonment, isolation and torture; we shouldn’t be surprised that 3 inmates finally succeeded in killing themselves at Guantanamo. Their suicides are a triumph over a system that is entirely designed to maximize human suffering. Each of these men had been exposed to the dehumanizing abuse and mistreatment which was authorized at the highest levels of government and which has been widely reported in the media. Whether it was “sensory deprivation or self-inflicted pain”, they’ve all been used as “lab-rats” in Bush’s Nazi-like experimentation on the human psyche.
 
    How much screeching music can a man take? How long can we keep someone in a dark room before he cracks? What are the effects of simulating suffocation with a wet towel over the face?
   
    This is how our tax dollars are being spent by the twisted, sadistic leadership at the Pentagon.
 
   For the victims, the only way to preserve their tattered dignity, was to take their own lives; a choice that demonstrates the depth of their hopelessness. Their deaths should be seen for what they are; a final act of resistance against a manifestly cruel and unjust system.
 
    Amnesty International issued a statement after the deaths were confirmed. They said, “These apparent suicides … are the tragic results of years of arbitrary and indefinite detention.”
 
   Bush’s solitary achievement in his 6 years in office has been to spread misery and despair among blameless Muslims.

   The unfortunate deaths of the three young men will undoubtedly draw more attention to Bush’s concentration camp at Guantanamo. The administration has already endured the withering criticism of the EU, the United Nations, the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and numerous other human rights and religious organizations. Still, Bush refuses to budge.  He will undoubtedly defend his torture-chamber until the bitter end.
 
    Guantanamo is the face of America under Bush. It has changed how we are perceived in the world and it has eroded our moral authority. We should be grateful to the 3 men who sacrificed their lives in the struggle against barbarity and cynicism. They have nudged us ever-closer to the day when Bush and company will be held accountable for their crimes. Maybe then we can tear down the gun-towers and block walls at Guantanamo and erect a monument to the countless victims of this vile and vicious regime.

 
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