By Adam Deutsch
An implausible occurrence of events. The U.S. Military agencies charged with the duty of finding truth, have instead presented a horrific fable of lies. According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), three detainees at Guantanamo Bay hung dead in a single cell block for more than two hours on June 9, 2006. Guantanamo procedure dictates that the cell block housing the deceased was under video surveillance 24 hours a day, and that a guard would check each cell every 10 minutes. If procedure was followed and the detainees actually died in their cells, then a minimum of 12 negligent cell checks occurred. Each of these checks failed to notice hanging detainees, and yet NCIS and those in charge of Guantanamo Bay found that not one disciplinary action was warranted for soldiers on duty.
Consider what the guard soldiers missed if NCIS is telling the truth. According to the report, each dead detainee braided a noose by tearing up bed sheets and clothing. The deceased made mannequins of themselves so it would appear to the guards they were sleeping. In violation of camp rules, the detainees hung sheets at the front of their cell to block guards from viewing inside. Afterwards each man tied their own feet and hands together, hung a noose from the mesh wall/ceiling, climbed upon the sink, swallowed pieces of cloth, and finally jumped off the sink after putting the noose around their neck. Consider how long this process must take. Realize that the bodies were found at least two hours after hanging.
The above facts are enough to question whether a suicide as described, occurred. Interviews with guards and medics who handled the detainees, described the bodies as being cool or cold to the touch with blue feet and extremities, and stiff with rigor mortus. This last condition only occurs in dead bodies, and typically takes two or more hours to stiffen a corpse. Why then, did medics perform life-saving operations including intubation, CPR, and the use of defibrillators, if the bodies exhibited immutable signs of death?
Findings presented by NCIS are too often inconsistent and contradictory when the considered together with the Standard Operating Procedures of Guantanamo Bay. The truth remains unknown. Congress should conduct detailed investigations with the goals of finding (1) the truth about how three detainees died on July 9, 2009, and (2) where the decision to obscure the truth came from. This new investigation should include public hearings filled with the testimony of the medics, tower guards, and cell block guards who were on duty the night these men died. In addition, Admiral Harris, Colonel Bumgarner, and the members of the NCIS investigation team present at Guantanamo should be brought before congress. Whether or not there is a need to go higher up the command chain to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Chaney, or George Bush is yet to be known. I hope for all of us, that Congress can take a non-partisan approach to seeking the truth. The reality as presented by NCIS is an insult to any analytical mind.