Last week I wrote about the assertion by US military spokesmen that the detainees were all telling stories of abuse because they were all terrorists who had been trained to lie.Last week I wrote about the assertion by US military spokesmen that the detainees were all telling stories of abuse because they were all terrorists who had been trained to lie.
The detainees were reporting that the military had escalated the cruelty of the way they administered force feeding. They imported "restraint chairs". Detainees would be strapped into the chair, which held their limbs, and head in a rigid grip. Then the feeding tube would be threaded through the detainees nose, and a liquid feeding formula would emptied, by gravity, into the detainee's stomach.
The detainees have reported:
* that ordinary guards, not medical personnel, were inserting the tubes.
* that they believed the military were using tubes that were much wider than necessary, in order to cause pain.
* that the tubes were yanked out, with such force that they were covered in blood.
* that bloody tubes would be yanked from one detainee, and inserted into another detainee, without even wiping off the blood.
* and that recently they started using these feeding chairs, where they would load the detainees up with food too quickly, causing pain like a knife in the stomach; that they would be loaded up with more liquid than they stomachs could hold; and that they would be left strapped in these chairs for hours, so they were forced to soil themselves.
US military spokesmen claimed there were all lies.
Now the New York Times reports that Lieutenant General Brantz Craddock, CO of Southern Command has come clean and acknowledged some of what the detainees reported was not a lie.
On Tuesday, General Craddock said he had reviewed the use of the restraint chairs, as had senior officials at the Department of Defense, and they concluded that the practice was "not inhumane." General Craddock left no doubt, however, that commanders had decided to try to make life less comfortable for the hunger strikers, and that the measures were seen as successful.
Military officials have said the tough measures were necessary to keep detainees from dying. But while many of the strikers lost between 15 and 20 percent of their normal body weight, only a few were thought to be in immediate medical danger, two officers familiar with the strike said.