Monday, June 12, 2006

Suicide is not asymmetrical warfare

Dear Editor,

When the commander of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, Rear Admiral Harry B. Harris, held a press conference at United States Southern Command in Miami this Saturday, he offered the following assessment of the suicides of three prisoners who were being held at Guantanamo: "I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."

This perverse statement has not been as widely reported as it should be, and I suspect this is because the statement is not only a profound embarrassment to our military and our nation; it does not simply, as a New York Times editorial put it today, "reveal a profound disassociation from humanity."

If we live in an America that detains prisoners indefinitely without any semblance of due process, then calls their suicides an act of asymmetrical warfare against us, and then tolerates this statement as rational and reasonable, truly the terrorists have won. I urge you and your readers to denounce the statement by Rear Admiral Harris, call for a release of the full transcript of his Saturday press conference, demand that he account for his statement and urge the U.S. Army to review Harris' fitness for command.

[emailed to the following new outlets: New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Cincinnati Post, Columbus Post, Denver Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Chicago Sun-Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Seattle Times, Times-Picayune (New Orleans LA), Washington Times, Akron Beacon Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Flint Journal, Idaho State Journal, Lansing State Journal, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Louisville Courier-Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Pensacola News Journal, Peoria Journal-Star, Providence Journal, Reno Gazette-Journal, Salem Statesman-Journal, Sioux City Journal, Topeka Capital-Journal, Albuquerque Journal, Lincoln Journal Star, Wilmington News Journal, Winston-Salem Journal, Des Moines Register, Mobile Register, New Haven Register, Orange County Register, Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), Arizona Daily Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Indianapolis Star, Kansas City Star, Lincoln Journal Star, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Peoria Journal-Star, Tribune Star (Terre Haute IN), Wilmington Star-News, Anchorage Daily News, Champaign News-Gazette, Dallas Morning News, Detroit News, Duluth News Tribune, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Greensboro News & Record, Knoxville News-Sentinel, New York Daily News, News & Observer (Raleigh NC), Rocky Mountain News (Denver CO), San Antonio Express-News, San Jose Mercury News, Savannah Morning News, Springfield News-Leader, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Delaware State News, Union Leader & New Hampshire Sunday News, Wheeling News-Register, Wilmington News Journal, Athens Banner-Herald, Boston Herald, Decatur Herald & Review, Grand Forks Herald, Herald-Dispatch (Huntington,WV), Lexington Herald-Leader, Miami Herald, Omaha World-Herald, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sun Herald (Gulfport MS), ABC News, CBS News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC News, American Conservative, American Enterprise, American Prospect, American Spectator, Human Events, National Journal Magazine, Public Interest, Southern Political Report, Washington Monthly, Weekly Standard, Roll Call, Christian Social Action, New Republic, Sojourners, US News & World Report, Gannett News Service, Reuters America - Washington Bureau, States News Service, Talk Radio News Service, and United Press International]

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