October 30, 2007
Someday I’ll Kill Myself and Then You’ll Be Sorry

From Andy Worthington at Counterpunch:

The grim story of the Guantánamo suicides — the deaths of three men, Ali al-Salami, Mani al-Utaybi and Yasser al-Zahrani in June 2006, and another, Abdul Rahman al-Amri, in May this year — took another turn last week, when, in the absence of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's long-awaited report into the deaths, Navy Capt. Patrick McCarthy, the senior lawyer on Guantánamo's management team, spoke out in an interview, declaring that all four men had killed themselves with "craftily fashioned nooses…"

As the NCIS has, inexplicably, yet to conclude its investigation, it's impossible to know at this point what the official conclusion will be. Clearly, the military has stepped back from its initial response, when the prison's commander, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, attracted worldwide condemnation for claiming that the men's deaths were "an act of asymmetric warfare."

The Pentagon has been the mother lode of euphemism since the War Department became the Department of Defense in 1947. The meaning was clear. The finest fighting men this universe or any other had ever known were about go on the Offense, where they have remained to this day.

The Pentagon’s sensible doctrine, unarticulated until Colin Powell gave his name to it, was never pick on somebody your own size. And yet not only did the little pipsqueaks dare to fight back, all too often they somehow managed to, as you might say, actually win.

Stronger euphemisms were called for, and Admiral Harris was ready with — drumroll —Asymmetric Warfare! Or, as the simple folk say, worms turn.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 30, 2007 05:28 PM
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