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Lust for Life

June 12, 2006

What was Our Government’s response to the three suicides of Guantanamo detainees?

Over the weekend it was this:

“It does sound like this is part of a strategy – in that they don’t value their own lives, and they certainly don’t value ours; and they use suicide bombings as a tactic. . . . Taking their own lives was not necessary, but it certainly is a good PR move.” [Emphasis added.]

…and this:

They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” [Emphasis again added.]

Those quotes are from two different people on two different days. Their similarity belies a coordinated message, ‘They don’t value life.’

Today it is this allegedly toned-down version:

“I wouldn’t characterize it as a good PR move. What I would say is that we are always concerned when someone takes his own life. Because as Americans, we value life, even the lives of violent terrorists who are captured waging war against our country.” [Emphasis yet again added.]

‘We value life.’

That last quote, from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Cully Stimson, goes on to characterize the men as “violent terrorists . . . captured waging war against our country,” however, the Guardian reports that one of the men had been declared a “safe person, free to be released,” but had not been informed of his status. (I’ve not read about the status of the other two men or the reason they were detained.)

Indeed. We value life. But what value has life when we no longer value liberty?

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2 Comments
  1. June 13, 2006 10:23 PM

    I read the original quotes and was so shocked and disgusted, even now, with this administration. Maybe it’s a technique to eliminate cognitive dissonance. After all, you couldn’t treat real human people like this!

    I’m surprised they didn’t come out with something like this after the Abu Ghraib photos: “They’re not like us. They don’t feel pain or humiliation.”

    PS. I thought my math tests were over! If I have the nightmare where I’m back in high school tonight, it’s all your fault.

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