With 100 detainees on hunger strike, some near organ failure or death, the President and media have renewed talk of closing Guantanamo. This is not the first time detainees have struck to protest their abuse and indefinite detention. Some, like Ahmed Zuhair (detained without charge 2002-2008), spent years on hunger strike. In 2005 officials used force and isolation to break the solidarity of the hunger strikers. Then and now, the reactions of Guantanamo officials have been predictable. What is different today is the resolve of the hungers strikers and the greater number of Americans sadder and wiser about administration spin on who the detainees are, how they are being treated, and what they deserve.
You wouldn’t know from media coverage of the 2005 hunger strike that there was a crisis in Guantanamo. Judging from official comments just a few “bad apples” were causing the trouble, and the Command had everything under humane control.… Read the rest