Suicide as Asymmetric Warfare

Three prisoners commit suicide at Guantanamo Bay and the reaction of US officials is absolutely shameful, calling the suicides “asymmetric warfare,” “good PR move,” and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause.”

This statement is so crazy and broke my irony-meter that it needs to go into a quotable quotes book:

“They are smart, they are creative, they are committed,” Admiral Harris said. “They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

What is he talking about?

Three detainees being held at the United States military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, committed suicide early on Saturday, the first deaths of detainees to be reported at the military prison since it opened in early 2002, United States military officials said.

Or try this:

A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move to draw attention”.

Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause”, but taking their own lives was unnecessary.

Who is Colleen Graffy? She is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. Or is it truthiness?

Do read Katherine’s post on the topic at Obsidian Wings.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

6 thoughts on “Suicide as Asymmetric Warfare”

  1. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a few other NGOs, have designated June Torture Awareness Month. I’ve created a blogroll you can join if you’re interested. You can find it here. The idea is that everyone is linked to from the blogroll, and in exchange, you discuss torture (as you already do), and link to the Torture Awareness site to help support the NGOs.

    There’s a lot of bloggers who are angry about human rights abuse in the War on Terror. If we coordinate, we can show our support and help Amnesty and HRW make Torture Awareness Month a success.

  2. “They are smart, they are creative, they are committed,” Admiral Harris said. “They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

    The above statement becomes a truth if it was about the American Marines in Iraq. (Fal Incidence of Haditha refers)

  3. That IS some crazy thinking. Intolerable cruelty leading to intolerable suffering with no end in sight sort of makes a good case for suicide i think. What a bunch of dunces.

  4. To: Colleen.Graffy@pepperdine.edu

    Dear Ms. Graffy:

    I am writing to you to remark upon the incredibly ignorant statement you made regarding the three recent suicides at Gitmo. The lack of knowledge about the causes of suicide which you demonstrated in your profoundly stupid remarks leaves me breathless for the sheer lack of understanding of an issue which is the 11th leading cause of death among Americans. (Anderson RN, Smith BL. Deaths: leading causes for 2001. National Vital Statistics Report 2003;52(9):1-86.), not to mention what incarceration without hope of release for charges unknown must do to a person. How would you like to be locked up without any knowledge of charges against you, in a land not your own, without any sense whether or not you would ever leave alive? Perhaps you should try it.

    Annual rates of suicide in this country are over 30,000 per year, more than 650,000 Americans are hospitalized each year following suicide attempts, and over 116,000 are treated in hospital emergency departments for same. Among US males, suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for all US men and males are four more times likely to die from suicide than females. And this is not even beginning to quote numbers related to female and teen deaths. But don’t take it from me, Ms. Graffy, check out the website of one of your fellow-governmental agencies, the CDC—that’s the Centers for Disease Control in case you had failed to note its existence— http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/suifacts.htm . There you will see a tidy introduction to a subject in which you are woefully ignorant and which all your degrees have obviously not prepared you to understand or speak about.

    I come from a family which, in the last one hundred years, has experienced over a dozen suicides in its ranks. So, yeh, I tend to be rather sensitive to the issue. We are what you would call patriotic Americans, as a whole, and have done more than our share to contribute to the life of the nation in ways very big and small. To see you liken suicide as an act of warfare against the US would be funny if it were not so cruel and unfeeling. But then, cruel and unfeeling is probably how you have risen to the position you presently enjoy at State.

    Do us all a favor, Ms. Graffy, and shut your mouth about subjects for which you are woefully under-qualified and under-experienced to comment. Step outside of your fishbowl of an office and limited circle of acquaintances, take a drive sometime and see the world beyond the Beltway. Touch base with reality. You are in many ways as imprisoned as the people you are verbally abusing at Gitmo.

    Very Truly Yours,
    Robert Pell-deChame

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