Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This is why it's so difficult to trust the government to investigate itself....

... when the Center for Constitutional Rights points out that the internal miliatry investigation of potential abuses at Gitmo was, essentially, a sham:

A leading human rights organization charges that, contrary to recent U.S. government reports that found prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, being treated humanely, they are in fact "deteriorating at a rapid rate" due to "harsh conditions that continue to this day, despite a few cosmetic changes to their routines."

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released a report [.pdf] on the current conditions in Camps 5, 6, and Echo following a press conference convened late last week by Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations. In his own report on conditions at Guantanamo, delivered to the White House, Walsh determined that conditions at the base meet the standards of the Geneva Conventions.

CCR's report, "Conditions of Confinement at Guantanamo: Still in Violation of the Law," disputes that conclusion. It covers conditions at Guantánamo in January and February 2009 and includes new eyewitness accounts from attorneys and detainees.

The authors address what they call the continuing abusive conditions at the prison camp, including conditions of confinement that they say violate U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Constitution, and international human rights law.

CCR Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei said the Gitmo detainees "are caught in a vicious cycle where their isolation causes psychological damage, which causes them to act out, which brings more abuse and keeps them in isolation. If they are going to be there another year, or even another day, this has to end."

"Detainees at Guantanamo have continued to suffer from solitary confinement, psychological abuse, abusive force-feeding of hunger strikers, religious abuse, and physical abuse and threats of violence from guards and Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) teams," the report charged.

Read the report for yourself.

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