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    Friday, June 17, 2005

    US Soldier Beaten at Guantanamo Bay Posing as a Prisoner

    Stardate 4109.3

    BBC News - The US Army has opened an investigation into injuries suffered by a serviceman who was beaten up during a training exercise.

    Sean Baker was posing as an uncooperative detainee at the Guantanamo Bay "camp" for aledged al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects. Apparently, the guards were out of control in trying to control him, and despite his pleas stating he was a US soldier, they continued to beat him until his clothes were pulled down enough to reveal his uniform underneath.

    Now, he suffers from seizures and he blames Officers for the botched up exercise.

    During the exercise, Mr Baker says, military police choked him and slammed his head against the floor. Mr Baker says he told them he was a US soldier but the beatings continued until the jumpsuit was yanked down, revealing his uniform.

    Mr Baker - who has complained of traumatic brain injury - was subsequently honourably discharged.

    Shocking? Perhaps yes. I can imagine the treatment many of the prisoners go through, on a daily basis. Some are even under age. Remember almost all of the detainees have never been charged, and are only suspected of ties to these terrorist groups... and this is what they have been living with for up to four or more years now.

    The worst part is this: Sean Baker is quoted as saying this:

    "What happened to me is something that should never have happened to any American soldier"

    To me, this sounds as though it is okay to beat the shit out of any of the prisoners, whether they are actual P.O.W.s, terrorists or had just been picked up by mistake. Something has to be done about these prisoner "camps". Soon it will be "off to the showers" with the lot of them otherwise.

    *** Addendum ***

    A related story somewhat, goes to show some of the treatment going on there to actual "Terror Prisoners"... This is taken from Newsfare, and is quite graphic:

    Warning: do not read this just before going to sleep. Nor just before eating. Nor before trying to concentrate at work. In fact, if you have feelings for other human beings, it might be better not to read this at all.
    The details of M.C.’s accusations are contained in a 17-page account prepared by Mr. Stafford Smith, in which the prisoner said that he was suspended from hooks in the ceiling for hours at a time with his feet barely missing the floor, and that he was beaten during those sessions. M.C. said a special unit known as the Immediate Reaction Force had knocked out one of his teeth and later an interrogator burned him with a cigarette. Mr. Stafford Smith said he saw the missing tooth and the burn scar.

    Some of M.C.’s descriptions match accounts given not only by other detainees, but also by former guards and interrogators who have been interviewed by The New York Times.

    He describes being shackled close to the floor in an interrogation room for hours with music blaring and lights in his face. He also said he was shown a room with pictures of naked women and adult videos and told he could have access if he cooperated. His description fits the account of former guards who described such a room and said it was nicknamed “the love shack.”

    Is that all? No, that is not all. You need to know just one more fact about this case. According to M.C.’s lawyer, his client “was not yet 15 when he was captured.”

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