Archive for December 14, 2009

Sixty-Eight Years!

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Sixty-eight years and one week ago, Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. The events of that day prompted my parents to move up their wedding, in anticipation of my father’s joining the Army. Sixty-eight years ago today they were married.

How about that?

They don’t get out a lot these days, especially in the aftermath of my father’s fall and broken hip seven weeks ago, on the literal eve of our big trip. But they will celebrate tomorrow at La Grenouille, home of many a special meal for them.

Congratulations, Mom and Dad.

1. Why tomorrow? La Grenouille is closed today.
2. The photo at the top is from La Grenouille’s online gallery.

Categories: Family, Restaurants

The Guantanamo Suicides

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Gail and I love the CBS TV series NCIS. It’s the most popular series on television this fall, and for good reason. I was pleased to see an article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal analyzing just what makes it such a crowd pleaser, though less pleased to learn that “[m]ilitary officials get to read scripts of the show beforehand; they in turn provide cooperation with the producers.”

So much for fiction. As for the real NCIS, they released a heavily redacted report two Mays ago on the June 10, 2006, suicide deaths of three Guantanamo prisoners, a report now brought into question by the most recent in a series of Guantanamo studies by faculty and students at Seton Hall University School of Law.

Scott Horton reports on the study at Harper’s and in more detail at the Huffington Post. The study is long, but his reports aren’t, and are worth reading in full. Horton reminds us that the “first official military statements declared the deaths not just suicides — but actually went so far as to describe them as acts of ‘asymmetrical warfare’ against the United States.” Yet, as Horton notes in the Huffington Post,

The new study exposes how the NCIS report purports that all three prisoners on the prison’s Alpha Block did the following to commit suicide:

• Braided a noose by tearing up their sheets and/or clothing.
• Made mannequins of themselves so it would appear to the guards they were asleep in their cells.
• Hung sheets to block the view into the cells.
• Stuffed rags down their own throats well past a point which would have induced involuntary gagging.
• Tied their own feet together.
• Tied their own hands together.
• Hung the noose from the metal mesh of the cell wall and/or ceiling.
• Climbed up on to the sink, put the noose around their necks and release their weight, resulting in death by strangulation.

At Harper’s, Horton concludes that the “NCIS report itself showed flagrant violations of Guantánamo’s own operating procedures and presented facts that are impossible to reconcile with its conclusions that the deaths were ‘suicides’ resulting from a ‘conspiracy’ among the three prisoners—one of whom was about to be released and return home.”

The Obama administration continues to take its time dealing with Guantanamo. The disgrace continues.

Categories: Politics, Torture