Thursday, June 16, 2005

Would Dick Durbin Like to Fly the Friendly Skies....

...with the few people an FBI agent reported he'd seen chained and isolated at Guantanamo? The same people described in this January 2002 press conference:

Q: Mr. Secretary...Has the United States begun to transfer al Qaeda and Taliban detainees to Gitmo [Guantanamo Bay, Cuba]? And, as reported, are you considering or will you use such restraints as perhaps tranquilizers and even hoods to keep these people calm -- these, as you say, dangerous people calm as you transport them?

Rumsfeld: The transportation from Kandahar very likely is being handled by TransCom [U.S. Transportation Command]. And the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are being handled by the acting combatant commander there for SouthCom [U.S. Southern Command].

And they have been authorized and instructed to use appropriate restraint, as you'll recall. I have no idea what specifically that means.

What they have done is consult a variety of experts on prisons and prisoners. They have reviewed, at my insistence, the uprising at Mazar-e Sharif, where a great many people were killed because of the prison uprising. They have reviewed the difficulties that the Pakistani soldiers had, where some people were killed as the al Qaeda and Taliban forces that had been detained by the Pakistan army broke loose. And they're fully aware that these are dangerous individuals. As you undoubtedly know, one of them came out of a hospital recently in, I believe, Kandahar, and blew himself up and others -- at least himself. I don't know -- I suspect not others, because they were all aware that that is -- that there are among these prisoners people who are perfectly willing to kill themselves and kill other people.

So I hope that they use the appropriate restraint, and that's what I suspect they will be doing.

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