16 February 2009

Brandon Neely

Army Private Brandon Neely, who “served as a prison guard at Guantánamo in the first years the facility was in operation” is obviously not sleeping well.

Human Rights lawyer Scott Horton reflects,

[Brandon Neely] describes body searches undertaken for no legitimate security purpose, simply to sexually invade and humiliate the prisoners. This was a standardized Bush Administration tactic–the importance of which became apparent to me when I participated in some Capitol Hill negotiations with White House representatives relating to legislation creating criminal law accountability for contractors. The Bush White House vehemently objected to provisions of the law dealing with rape by instrumentality. When House negotiators pressed to know why, they were met first with silence and then an embarrassed acknowledgement that a key part of the Bush program included invasion of the bodies of prisoners in a way that might be deemed rape by instrumentality under existing federal and state criminal statutes.

Quite apart my revulsion, I cannot understand how the Bush administration could have ordered this sort despicable behavior knowing that it would occur on Cuba, a country where the West was all but convinced that the Cuban government was among the worst abusers of prisoners.

Whatever Human Rights edge we may have thought we had, the Cubans are going to enjoy throwing it back at us.

Those, I suggest, are the negotiations you send self-righteous Hillary Clinton to.

h/t Andrew Sullivan