Sunday, June 11, 2006

Snow Says “People” Will be Taking a Look at Gitmo

(AP) White House spokesman Tony Snow said an investigation would continue into the three suicides at Guantanamo Bay.

Snow said there was "no direct indication" that the suicides were connected to the killing this week of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.

He also said that "to the best of anybody's knowledge" all proper procedures were followed to prevent the suicides at a facility where a few dozen had been previously attempted. But Snow said the investigation would continue until those sorts of questions were fully answered.

"These things do happen and it's an awful thing," he said. "People are going to take a very careful look at the situation there."

The people “doing the looking” will not include the United Nations Commission Against Torture. The U.S. has consistently denied that group the open access it requires to assess the treatment of detainees. So who are the people looking at Gitmo? And what will they be looking at? This is especially important as the last time prisoners attempted suicide, their act served as a ruse for a rebellion Did guards hold out longer before responding in order to assess the situation?

The White House also wants to press the situation diplomatically according to Snow.

President Bush expressed "serious concern" Saturday over the suicides at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay and directed an aggressive effort by his administration to reach out diplomatically while it investigates.

"He wants to make sure that this thing is done right from all points of view," White House press secretary, Tony Snow said Saturday evening.

Tony and company may have a very difficult job pressing the diplomatic front in light of the recent interview with the Chinese Muslims released after 4 ½ years in detention. The first 3 ½ years the five Chinese Uighurs were considered “enemy combatants”. The last year in detention their status changed to “no longer enemy combatants”. It took the U.S. a year to find a country willing to accept the wrongfully imprisoned detainees. They had much to say about their treatment at the hands of the United States. Their comments included:

Guantanamo is like a hell where there is no justice or respect for human dignity.

It may be hard for the Bush Administration to press that diplomatically.

No comments: