Saturday, February 06, 2010

Guantanamo deaths: some pushback

Since I did a post earlier about Scott Horton's article that raised serious questions about the official investigation into three deaths at Guantanamo in 2006 -- strongly suggesting that an unacknowledged site might have been where they met their deaths rather than by hanging themselves in their cells -- I thought it only fair to note that Horton's article has been criticized by people whose opinions I believe are worth considering. Jack Shafer, who does media criticism for Slate, is to my mind the best media critic out there and a long way from being a kneejerk apologist for the government, so his comments that Horton “never comes close to making its case that prisoners Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, and Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani may have been murdered at a secret CIA installation at Gitmo . . .” is worth considering. There's also a blogger at First Things, the theocon site, named Joe Carter, who has critiqued Horton's piece here, here, here, and here. Neocons are seldom right, but his posts are mostly critiques and some of his p[oints are worth considering.

I still think Horton's piece is important, and taken with the critique of the official Navy investigation done at University at least make the case that that report is seriously lacking. And Scott was pretty careful not to go beyond his evidence. He doesn't say he's proven the site was a secret CIA installation, he says that's one of the possibilities, and that the official Navy report failed to reach all potential eyewitnesses including the ones he interviewed. Troubling enough.


Anonymous said...

I take a somewhat different approach. Not only should they close down Gitmo but all of that land should be returned to Cuba. I would also normalize relations with Cuba lifting all trade and travel restrictions. But I know none of this is going to happen.

Alan Bock said...

Good suggestions all, but I suspect you're right about likelihood.