U.S. Military’s Guantanamo Bay Force Feeding Document Leaked

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 7.54.15 PMThe brutal force feeding of hunger striking Guantanamo Bay detainees by US medical personnel has been well described in the documentary Doctors of the Dark Side, but the vivid and gruesome procedures are now confirmed in an official US military document obtained by Al-Jazeera:

Hunger striking Guantanamo prisoners who are force-fed a liquid nutritional supplement undergo a brutal and dehumanising medical procedure that requires them to wear masks over their mouths while they sit shackled in a restraint chair for as long as two hours, according to documentation obtained by Al Jazeera. The prisoners remain this way, with a 61cm – or longer – tube snaked through their nostril until a chest X-ray, or a test dose of water, confirms it has reached their stomach.

At the end of the feeding, the prisoner is removed from the restraint chair and placed into a “dry cell” with no running water. A guard then observes the detainee for 45-60 minutes “for any indications of vomiting or attempts to induce vomiting”. If the prisoner vomits he is returned to the restraint chair.

That’s just a partial description of the “chair restraint system clinical protocol” which medical personnel are instructed to follow when administering a nutritional supplement to prisoners who have been selected for force-feeding by Guantanamo Commander Rear Admiral John Smith.

Standard operating procedure

The restraint system, published here for the first time, along with the feeding procedures policy, was contained in a newly revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Guantanamo hunger strikers, obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera from United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which has oversight of the joint task force that operates the prison.

The 30-page manual contains the most detailed descriptions to date pertaining to the treatment of hunger strikers and prisoners who undergo force-feedings. The SOP replaced a previous SOP issued in 2003 – revised in 2005 – which was declassified several years ago by the Pentagon, albeit with redactions. The new, unredacted policy obtained by Al Jazeera went into effect March 5 – one month after Guantanamo prisoners launched their protest over the inspection of their Qurans…

[continues at Al-Jazeera]


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7 Comments on "U.S. Military’s Guantanamo Bay Force Feeding Document Leaked"

  1. BuzzCoastin | May 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm |

    GITMO is really bad
    but the atrocities carried out at GITMO
    are totally consistent with Uncle Homeland’s treatment of
    American Indians, African Americans, the Vietnamese people, Arabs in general
    and anyone who appears to be standing in their way to total domination
    but unless thousands of white amerikans of EU decent get GITMOED
    this will continue on, as it has for centuries, under slightly different names

  2. Hadrian999 | May 14, 2013 at 1:18 am |

    I never understood the logic behind huger strikes, Group A hates group B group B threatens group A with the suicide of group B.

    • smooth_operator | May 14, 2013 at 3:18 am |

      Because, historically, the public response from hunger strike deaths are overwhelming for the governing authority.

    • Liam_McGonagle | May 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm |

      “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

      Not precisely an apt comparison, but I think it conveys the inverse relationship between the logic of terror and the logic of martyrdom.

      Both present horrible, unpleasant scenarios to the public, but one also provokes terror and the other does not. The moral message of the hunger strike is much clearer: Treat people like decent human beings.

      If I know you at all, I’m sure you have already considered the indifference and contempt that the hunger strike will be, at least initially, treated with by lazy or cruel people who act first out of short-term pragmatism. “He who builds on the people builds on mud,” and all that sort of Machiavellian brutalism.

      But you really do have to consider the longer term in this. Successful hunger strikes always confound people because they’re so illogical at the animal level. That seeming illogic causes people to brood on them, and their inability to understand them on that animal level really brings home the power of the strikers’ moral conviction. Nothing preoccupies a human being as much as a puzzle they can’t solve.

      Terror is simple. Makes the perps feel good in the short term, but makes the victims feel even better in the long term. It convinces them that they were correct in their decision to whipe out a given ethnic group.

  3. BuzzCoastin | May 14, 2013 at 1:22 am |

    prisoners who are force-fed a liquid nutritional supplement undergo a
    brutal and dehumanising medical procedure that requires them to wear
    masks over their mouths while they sit shackled in a restraint chair for
    as long as two hours

    sounds pretty much like school to me

  4. i read the title as
    “US Military’s Guantanamo Bay Force [is] Feeding Document Leaks”

    I was confused.

  5. Liam_McGonagle | May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am |

    I believe that leaking these documents is a Gitmo-able offense.

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