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News :: International
Guantanamo "Suicides" were tortured to death
19 Jan 2010
A U.S. sergeant broke the story in Harpers
Sergeant's Account of Deadly Guantánamo Abuse Featured on MSNBC's 'Countdown'
Scott Horton of Harper's Magazine details Sgt. Joseph Hickman's claims of deadly detainee abuse at the prison.


(PRNewsChannel) / January 19, 2010 / New York, N.Y. / Three Guantánamo Bay detainees did not commit suicide in 2006 as officially reported by the U.S. military, writer Scott Horton told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Monday night.


The Harper's Magazine contributing editor discussed his expose based on whisteblower Staff Sgt. Joe Hickman, who was responsible for the guards the night the detainees were originally reported to have hanged themselves.


Olbermann: So who killed these men? Do you know?

Horton: We don't know. And I think one thing we should all be cautious about is rushing to any conclusions about how they died. The prior investigation was over before it began. It claimed these men hanged themselves in their cells and it was suicide. That was a conclusion that was being forced from the top. That's clearly not a correct conclusion.

The U.S. government has long maintained the three Guantánamo prisoners committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells on June 9, 2006. The prisoners, according to Hickman, were driven to a secret compound—known as "Camp No"—which soldiers believed was being operated by the CIA.

A great deal of commotion occurred at Camp No shortly after the van used to transport prisoners returned to the Camp Delta detention clinic. This was well before the time when official reports allege the prisoners were found hanging in their cells. Accounts quickly spread that three prisoners had died by “choking on cloth.”

The article flags the account of a fourth prisoner who was brutally tortured that same day in a manner suspiciously similar to that which might have been applied to the three dead prisoners.

The following morning, the camp’s commanding officer told a gathering of personnel “we all know” the prisoners died by choking on cloth, but an official account would soon be released reporting the men had committed suicide by hanging themselves. All present were ordered not to contradict or undermine the official account in any way, Hickman reported.

Horton's story then traces an audacious cover-up of the deaths involving many different agencies of the federal government—including the Justice Department—that has continued for three and a half years, and has continued into the Obama Administration.

Link to Harper's Magazine article:
http://harpers.org/archive/2010/01/hbc-90006368

Link to Associated Press article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_guantanamo_suicides

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