Talk:Guantanamo Bay detention camp suicide attempts

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Well done[edit]

As I expected, this issue has had a lot of work done. However it has not been linked to from the main page, even though I recommended that yesterday Nil Einne 13:06, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm please to see that it finally appears in the main page. Despite the fact it was obvious from the start that this would receive (and as has happened even during the World Cup) widespread international sustained attention and widespread international sustained media coverage and widespread sustained work on wikipedia, there was a refusal to feature it. This is even though the French Open victors was featured immedietly despite the fact they received far less attention, media coverage and work and similarly the Antikythera clock thing which I haven't even heard of outside of wikipedia was also featured... Nil Einne 14:26, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Article not about individual prisoners[edit]

Which is why I removed Category:Guantanamo Bay detainees and Category:Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States, which are for biographical articles.--Pharos 04:37, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I think these two categories do need to be linked to this artical as this is an artical about the things in the category. This artical is about "Guantanamo Bay detainees" and "Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States" and categories are there to link together information.Hypnosadist 11:14, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Hunger Strike dates[edit]

At the base of this article it mentions that a hunger strike commenced in the prison in August 2006 (which is clearly impossible.). I would correct this myself but I don't know the details. --Raphael 07:55, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Page Move[edit]

Shouldn't this page be at Guantanamo Bay suicide attempts? Wouldn't that be more accurate and appropriate, particularly given the fact that Guantanamo is both a province and a city, in addition to being a camp? Batmanand | Talk 09:08, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Accurate? Probably. But then [[Guantanamo Bay detainment camps suicide attempts]] would be even more accurate. To be entirely accurate the name would have to be [[suicide attempts at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps for suspects in the Global War on Terror]], because that would distinguish between these guys and the days when Guantanamo was used to detain tens of thousands of Cuban and Haitian boat people -- "illegal aliens" -- for years on end.
Appropriate? I don't think so. The colloquial term is not "Guantanamo Bay detainee" it is simply "Guantanamo detainee". Maybe [[Guantanamo detainee suicide attempts]] would distinguish between detainee suicide attempts, and attempts among the garrison, their families, and civilian employees.
FWIW, the Gulf Daily News, published in Bahrain, refers to them as [[Bay detainees]]. Maybe that is what they are called in Arabic. -- Geo Swan 11:25, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Here in the UK, in the media the camp is almost universally called Guantanamo Bay. If you go to Guantanamo, you get to a disambiguation page (admittedly, if you got to Guantanamo Bay you get to the geological feature). I just thought it sounded more sensible to say "Guantanamo Bay suicide attempts", but if this is not consensus that is fair enough. Batmanand | Talk 16:54, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
It's probably impossible to satisfy everyone's most common term here. We had a three-way split of the article a few months back -- the base, the bay, and the camp were all jumbled together at Guantanamo Bay, which obviously didn't work. The US term is strongly skewed toward just "Guantanamo". I argued for putting the base article at Guantanamo (and the city at Guantánamo) but consensus was for a dab page there. --Dhartung | Talk 15:55, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

On quotation errors[edit]

In this Wikipedia article, Cully Stimson is quoted as saying: "It is unclear why the American authorities are continuing to pretend that all three men were "violent terrorists", since at least one of them had been determined not to pose any threat at all and was in fact due to be released, though the Americans had not bothered to tell him this."

This appears nowhere in the cited artile. Also, there is some obvious bias in this comment, through the use of words like "pretend" and the fact that the line appears to have been written by someone who is not American (through the use of the words "though the Americans..."). Comments like this SHOULD NOT appear in Wikipedia, as it is full of bias and speculation. The issue that the men may have been falsely detained is indeed relevant, but do not present it as fact in an encyclopedia context.

The worse part is that it is appended to the quote of the assistant to the Secretary of Defense. That's a HUGE mistake as it looks like this comment is coming from the government (unless one happens to notice it's written in 3rd person).

I will correct this while trying to respect the intent of the message. --SirLamer 15:30, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

While it's clear that addition was a POV comment by someone and rather badly inserted and you did the right thing in removing it, it seems rather unlikely anyone that read what was written could have thought it came from the assistant. Clearly he would not have said they were violent terrorists and then say it's unclear why Americans pretend they've violent terrorists. For that matter, the quotes had already ended. Unsourced POV? Yes. Poorly done? Yes. Likely to be attributed to Cully to anyone reading the article? No. Nil Einne 15:46, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

BBC quote of Denbeaux -- not credible[edit]

I know that the BBC has reported a paraphrase of Denbeaux -- stating that the camp authorities didn't tell Utaybi that he had been recommended for transfer because they hadn't decided which country which country he was going to be sent to. I don't find this assertion to be credible:

  1. For Denbeaux to say this he would have had to have been speculating. It is extremely unlikely that the DoD would tell the a human rights lawyer why they weren't telling a detainee he was recommended for transfer.
  2. Other sources state that Utaybi wasn't going to be freed, he was going to be transferred to detention in another country. Well, which country could that be?
    1. The most likely country that Al Utaybi could be transferred to, which could be counted on to take over the responsibility for Al Utaybi's detention would be Saudi Arabia.
    2. Jamal Kiyemba, an Ugandan who had been a long-term British resident, was transferred to the UK, who promptly deported to Uganda. If Al Utaybi had been a long-term resident of another country maybe the USA could justify transferring him to that country. Well, what country could that have been? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Might Pakistan or Afghanistan take over the responsibility of continuing to detain Al Utaybi? Maybe.
    3. Could the USA transfer Al Utaybi to some other country than the country of his citizenship, or a country of which he had been a long term resident, and still count on them taking over the responsibility for his continued detention? No civilized nation, that respects the rule of law. Uzbekistan, where torture victims are boiled alive, might agree. But, now that the identities of the detaines are known, I don't believe that the USA can get away with sending the detainees to torture states.
  3. Knowing he had been recommended for transfer back to Saudi Arabia, for continued detention, rather than being a source of relief to Al Utaybi -- it could have been a source of further despair. Other Saudis reported being visited, at Guantanamo, by Saudi interrogators, who warned them that, when they were returned to Saudi custody, they could expect terrible torture.

I suspect that the author of the BBC article conflated quotes from two different people, and attributed them both to Denbeaux. -- Geo Swan 18:36, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

The Guardian, quoting the BBC article asserts that one of the dead men was on of Denbeaux's clients. This is incorrect. Mark Denbeaux and his son Joshua represent Rafiq Bin Bashir Bin Jalud Al Hami and Mohammed Abdul Rahman. TD Blog Interview with Joshua Denbeaux April 5, 2006
-- Geo Swan 19:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)


or let's make an article on wikipedia on everyday can't have it both ways. -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:56, 2006 June 14

in fact let's do away with the whole Current_events section, who needs to know any of that stuff ;-) --duncan 06:39, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


Doesn't the word "attempt" carry connotations of an intent that failed? Since three detainees actually committed suicide, shouldn't the title be changed? 惑乱 分からん 15:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Could just be 'Guantanamo suicides', except it also covers suicide attempts. How about 'Guantanamo suicides and parasuicides', bit wordy though.--duncan 16:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I vote for 'Guantanamo suicides' with a section about the failed attemps and suicidewatch systems at gitmo to stop successful attempts (this makes parasuicides' a more POV claim in my opinion).Hypnosadist 11:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
"Guantanamo suicides and attempts"? 惑乱 分からん 12:05, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I like your suggestion, Hypnosadist (although I don't get how parasuicide = POV?) --duncan 06:41, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
I was just going to suggest that but you beat me too it :-P As for parasuicides, maybe it's not POV but it should be avoided IMHO because it's not commonly used and will just cause confusion Nil Einne 16:53, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
When I started this article I picked Guantanamo suicide attempts over Guantanamo suicides for several reasons:
  1. We know that there have been many more suicide attempts than those acknowledged by the DoD. The press reports all agree that the DoD acknowledges 41 attempts. But differing accounts say that 23, 25, 29 detainees made those attempts. The DoD also told Joshua Colangelo-Bryan that his client Juma Al Dossary made 13 suicide attempts. One of Mishal Awad Sayaf Alhabri's suicide attempts left him with sufficient brain damage that his Administrative Review Board hearing says he will have to be kept in a care facility for the rest of his life. Although he can respond to simple commands. But, he continued to engage in "self-injurious behavior" -- ie, further suicide attempts. So, the arithmetic doesn't add up.
  2. These three men are described as the first deaths at Guantanamo. I am extremely skeptical. Sami Al Laithi had a guard jump on him and break his spine. The IRF routinely beats detainees so seriously they are left in comas, or catatonic. One beating was enough to leave Sean Baker with enough brain damage that he will be left with seizures for the rest of his life. Colangelo-Bryan said his client Al Dossary was moved to a cell-block where there was no one he could talk to, because all the other detainees there had been driven barking mad, and could merely scream incoherently at the top of their lungs, 24x7. There is more public scrutiny on the camp now. They couldn't get away with hushing up deaths now, while maybe they could have earlier. -- Geo Swan 18:20, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
What do you think of the above suggestion? Nil Einne 16:53, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


I agree, the article title should be renamed or a seperate article should be created for the three suicides that haven taken place. It is misleading to label "attempts" when they have succeeded. - Sohailstyle 16:36, June 15, 2006 (UTC)

RE: First?? How do we know?? "The June 10 2006 suicides were the first inmate deaths at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp."

I agree. These were the first PUBLICIZED deaths. We really can't speak to what actually happened. If we find out infomration later about previous deaths, then the article fails. I think it should be documented that these are not the first deaths, but the first deaths that were publicized. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Isa Khan[edit]

This article is about suicides and suicide attempts in Gitmo but it says Isa Khan was released and is considering suicide. I think that should be removed because he isn't in Gitmo and didn't attempt a suicide. M&M —Preceding unsigned comment added by M&MSketchup (talkcontribs) 22:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Quote or NPOV?[edit]

The statement

The government’s investigation is slipshod, and its conclusion leaves the most important questions about this tragedy unanswered.

is hopefully a quote. I formatted it as a block quote but I couldn't find it in the article referenced below the quite. If this isn't a quote it feels like a violation of WP:NOR and/or WP:NPOV. It should either be rewritten to do more clearly reference the article that it came from, or removed.

To be more on point, the entire section should be eliminated under its separate sub-heading, and the link placed with the article in its proper place. It takes another bite at the apple, it does not flow with the subject.--Yachtsman1 (talk) 04:56, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

The statement is a direct quote from this press release. Geo Swan (talk) 06:52, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Allegations of Homicides/Cover-up[edit]

A lot of material has been published recently which seems to suggest that the June 2006 incidents were actually homicides and not suicides. A Harpers Magazine article on Jan 18, 2010 written by human rights lawyer and journalist Scott Horton, has found extensive evidence of this. This claim seems to be corroborated by an investigation by students and faculty at Seton Hall Law School. It has now also been reported by the CBC and MSNBC. Many non-American news organizations also have picked up the story. Apparently a sergeant has blown the whistle on these.

Here are some links

This page will need a major redo in the next few weeks. (talk) 22:32, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I doubt it'll need a major redo. At best, we'll add another section on conspiracy theories. Nothing the Denbeauxs say can ever be trusted.
I have to admit, though, there is a part of me that would like for it to be true. Of the many "suicide" attempts that the fascists played in GTMO, it'll be funny if one of the few that succeeded turns out to be fake.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 00:29, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, we are approaching the point where the material contesting that these deaths were suicide at all is so significant that the title of the article will need to be changed to comply with the NPOV policy. Rama (talk) 15:40, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

You may be right, but not in the way that you mean.
The article title is about "suicide attempts." That's NPOV because it assumes that the detainees weren't play-acting. I'd suggest using the word parasuicide. It's also more in line of the thinking of those who claim there were no actual suicides at GTMO.
As for the sources, it appears to be based entirely on Harpers and the Denbeaux agit-prop.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
No, we know that "suicide" is a term used by islamofascists. A good title could be "Anti-American self-homicides". Here, have some Freedom Fries. Rama (talk) 19:20, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget to change the text of lead image at Guantanamo Bay detention camp to "Premeditated sit-in of parasuicidal islamofascists in the vicinity of the beach at Guantanamo Bay." ... On second thought, the use of the term "premeditated" might resemble legalistic jargon that would be inappropriate in that context.   Cs32en Talk to me  19:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
"Guantanamo Bay" has become quite connotated, too. Let's say "tropical island", like an authoritative source would, shall we? Rama (talk) 20:16, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
On a more serious note, I am quite amazed at the apparent silence of the main media in the US, while the story has clearly made its way into the mainstream British press (and the Telegraph can't be said to be left-wing by any standard). Did anybody find stories in CNN, CBS, the New York Times or something of the sort? Rama (talk) 20:24, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd go for "seaside resort". More on the silence of some media here. My guess is that the New York Times doesn't know what to say about this yet, and they may not want to just publish an article that would be equivalent to a long and verbose link to Harper's magazine. I might be wrong, but I assume that the NYT will at some point need to say something about this, and that they are making plans for that moment. By the way, those sources that have reported on the issue are not in any way less reliable than CNN or the NYT. Silence doesn't necessarily imply agreement with DOJ's account either.  Cs32en Talk to me  20:31, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure they'll report on it when they've got good sources. A PDF from a jihadi's lawyer isn't enough for everyone.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 21:48, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, did you read the article in Harper's magazine? Please refrain from mischaracterizing the sources.  Cs32en Talk to me  21:58, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, of course I read it.
No, I did not mischaracterize the sources. The Denbeauxs' clients are still locked up in GTMO. It is their job and professional obligation to skew the facts in a manner that puts the U.S. government in the worst possible light.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 00:26, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
There is an error here, which I will address below in #Professional obligation to skew the facts? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:06, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
That's neither the case of Horton, nor of the US soldiers who've testified.
Incidentally, thank you for your unwitting admission that there is a story to report and that the official version is not a good source. Rama (talk) 00:35, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Horton is an activist who prints the detainee's family's opinions as though they are fact. I shouldn't need to say that his article is biased.
The soldiers haven't the slightest idea what happened at "Camp No" (which isn't even its name, and it may not even be a common nickname). If they really have a story to tell, they should have found an objective venue.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 00:53, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
BTW: They could have gone to NCIS. That's how the Abu Ghraib story came out (technically to the Army's CID). They had responsible alternatives.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 03:25, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Now on The Canadian Press [1]. An Associated Press article [2] was broadcasted by USA Today [3]. I still see nothing on some proeminent news sources. Rama (talk) 11:53, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

All three links are the same old AP article by Pete Yost.
The rest of the MSM will follow as soon as they can write it in a way that doesn't come off like a conspiracy theory driven by a lawyer for the enemy.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 16:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I added some information on Horton's article to the articles on Michael Bumgarner, and Shaker Aamer, and I started an article on Camp No (Guantanamo). I agree we need to be careful not to imply that the murder allegations are a fact. Bumgarner already responded briefly -- said he would have to get clearance to respond at greater length. That was over a week ago, and it looks like he didn't get clearance. There were only a handful of reporters at Guantanamo, at the time of the deaths. Carol Rosenberg, and two reporters from Bumgarner's local paper. Apparently Bumgarner and his superiors expected the local paper's report to be a "puff piece". But it wasn't. Bumgarner's term was to expire in about a month or so. But he was replaced by his deputy on June 13 or 14, after the local paper published its description of his reaction to the deaths. Unfortunately that report is no longer online. I am tempted to see if I can look up the paper copy at the main branch of the library here. Geo Swan (talk) 12:54, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
As you've probably seen, I've linked Rowan Scarborough's reaction that quotes from the official response. He rebuts everything.
I haven't seen the official response itself, but it would be good to find.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 21:52, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
No he does not. Rama (talk) 09:36, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Professional obligation to skew the facts?[edit]

Randy2063 commented (above) that:

... The Denbeauxs' clients are still locked up in GTMO. It is their job and professional obligation to skew the facts in a manner that puts the U.S. government in the worst possible light.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 00:26, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

This is a misleading view. As it goes to the credibility of the story I should like to comment.

While it can be fairly assumed that the Denbeauxs may (are even obliged to) put forward an interpretation most favorable to their clients (not necessarily "skewing the facts"), please note that this does not mean such an interpretation is untrue. Nor even that they have to "put the U.S. government in the worst possible light" – for the simple reason that the U.S. government may have already done that.

That a source might be "skewed" should always be considered. But also consider that it might well be true. And considering all the other revelations of similar misconduct in the prosecution of this "war on terror", the allegations made in this story are just too plausible, and too serious, to dismiss out of hand. I suggest that the proper point of view to take here is not one of dismissal of any allegations, but of deeper inquiry. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:14, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Not quite so. There are no revelations of misconduct similar to this conspiracy theory.
Every other big story had its investigations, and they all reached the political sphere. The pictures in the Abu Ghraib scandal were first turned in to the Army's investigators by a soldier. The perps were charged, and the general in charge had stepped aside as further investigations continued. Every deposition was subject to perjury charges if they'd lied. That happened months before the pictures were leaked to the public. Senior generals were put before panels of politicians, and again, also subject to perjury charges if they'd lied. The same goes for every other major scandal of the war.
Here we have a conspiracy theory that is breathtakingly naive. I'm sure it appeals to readers of graphic novels but it is nothing like what's happened before in real life.
We have learned a couple of things since then. One is that ABC, CBS, NBC news had all been approached on this story, as has Seymour Hersh. They all saw it for what it was. This story says a lot more about Scott Horton and the Denbeauxs than it does about Guantanamo.
Also, since then, we've had another round from Wikileaks. No shadowy conspiracies have come to light.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 15:14, 25 May 2011 (UTC)


Okay, you've been Bold in adding the category "Criminals who attempted suicide", I Reverted, and now we can Discuss (per WP:BRD).

I assert that the detainees (as several administrations have been so meticulous to call them) at Guantanamo Bay are not criminals, having not been convicted of any offense under a criminal code, that the legal basis for detaining them is entirely under the laws of war (allegedly). "Prisoners who attempted suicide" would (I think) be acceptable, but "criminals" assumes some kind of offense or even guilt that has not been judged, or even charged. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Government response (rather than Government counter-reaction[edit]

Changed the header for this section, as "counter-reaction" is POV. Secondly, an anonymous source, even if later identified by the press, cannot be counted in the "Government response". Therefore, I deleted the material based on an anonymous doctor's comments. Only the named Admiral Harris can be considered a "Government response" to assertions by others that the detainees committed suicide because of despair/depression. Following is what was deleted. If it is to be used, it has to be characterized in a different way. Better would be to summarize it. It is now more than 6 years past the events.Parkwells (talk) 17:45, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

<<The Associated Press quoted the head doctor at the detainee hospital, who challenged the idea that the dead men had been depressed and driven to suicide.[1][2] He asserted that the men had psychological tests administered shortly before their deaths, which confirmed that they were not depressed. The psychological tests were routinely used to monitor the mental states of hunger strikers. All three men had recently participated in a widespread hunger strike. The doctor spoke on condition of anonymity, but he was previously identified as Captain John Edmundson USN.[3]

According to the Associated Press, the chief doctor told reporters: "Officials have also lowered the threshold to determine when a detainee is at risk of being suicidal ... Now, any detainee thought to be a suicide risk is placed in a tear-proof anti-suicide smock _ which can't be fashioned into a makeshift noose _ for 72 hours and given a psychological exam ... There are currently about 20 detainees in green anti-suicide smocks, the doctor said."[1][2]>>


Given there is an article on Accusations of homicide at Guantanamo, it appears there is too much content here about questions/comments on the government's explanations. The lengthy account of Denbeaux's 2009 report, Death at Camp Delta, appears to belong there. Also, the last paragraph in that section does not relate to responses to Denbeaux's report, but to the January 2010 article in Harper's by Scott Horton, so it is inappropriate in this section and I will delete it.Parkwells (talk) 17:45, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

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  1. ^ a b "Official: Gitmo Prisoners Waging 'Jihad'", Associated Press, June 28, 2006
  2. ^ a b "Guantanamo Bay suicide prisoners 'showed no sign of being depressed'", The Independent, June 28, 2006
  3. ^ "Kicked out of Gitmo: A Times reporter's struggle to get the truth about America's island prison just got tougher", Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2006