Cruel and Degrading Treatment
The report in the New York Times of the force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo Bay is harrowing. The use of restraints and force feeding is undeniably cruel and degrading treatment. While there is some partial acknowledgment that the inmates of Guantanamo bay were far from known militants:
In a study released yesterday, two of those lawyers said Pentagon documents indicated that the military had determined that only 45 percent of the detainees had committed some hostile act against the United States or its allies and that only 8 percent were fighters for Al Qaeda.
It fails to note that none of the inmates have been charged with any crime, nor have any of the accusations of the military been tested in a court!
This is after four years of detainment against the Geneva conventions and international covenants the U.S. is a signatory to. If the detainees are prisoners of war, then they are entitled to Geneva conventions, which includes contact with their families and prevention of cruel and degrading treatment. If they are not prisoners of war, then they should be charged with a crime, stand before a jury and be sentenced if guilty.
As the article itself mentions in passing, it is the illegal, indeterminate nature of the incarceration which drives the inmates to legitimate protest at their conditions. The brutal treatment of these people both in imprisoning them in the first place and then in monstrously forcing them to stay alive when they have given up hope in a calculus of humanity reveals the machinelike ideology of the Bush imperial state.