10 Responses

  1. No, no, no: Bill says it’s all completely legal! Or at least Necessary! Or maybe Justified! As do a lot of others who speak for power!

    Having had a feeding tube “passed” into my esophagus, and having been involved in the procedure as a nurse, may I venture to testify that having that done, forcibly, against one’s will, over and over, is pretty inarguably a pretty rotten form of torture.

    But then the purpose of power is power. The purpose of torture is torture. And if you are a freakin’ Great Game bureaucrat or Colonel Klink or CinC, life is never having to acknowledge that what you are doing is, you know, WRONG, mush less to stop doing it.

    Oh, look, you have maybe “radicalized” some of these people you nabbed off the street and stuck in an oubliette, link to vocabulary.com, so now you have the security bureaucrat’s complete and perfect excuse to defer to the next guy any opprobrium and helter-skelter that might attach to maybe actually “doing the right thing!”

    “That’s some catch, that Catch-22.”
    “That’s right, it’s the best there is.” link to straightdope.com

    • “No, no, no: Bill says it’s all completely legal! Or at least Necessary! Or maybe Justified!”

      Actually, I have never addressed or commented on the issue of forced feeding at Guantanamo, Mr. McPhee. You are making that up out of whole cloth, but it tracks with your other attempts to put words in people’s mouths with whom you disagree, in order to set up a straw man for your own Narrative. It is sad that apparently you cannot make your case on its own merits without setting up others as straw men.

  2. Man! That looked horribly painful! No one should be forced-fed like that. It’s awful! However, how do you know that it is actually done twice in that facility? Why do they even bother to do it? Just for the fun of it? Isn’t the US financially broke? Wouldn’t this be another expense for that facility?

  3. I have official correspondence from the warden in which he states that
    “The entire Joint Detention Group (JDG) detainee population (166) are all classified as unpriviliged belligerents.”

    In other words, Colonel Bogdan puts their number at 166, not the 120 figure in your blog post,
    and classifies every single one of them as combatants.
    He denies that there might be even one “wrong place, wrong time” guy who was sold for a bounty.

    It appears that he is innocent of the 2010 Report of the Guantanamo Review Task Force that said 86 of the men being held were cleared for release.

    He apparently does not believe that he is indulging his sadist inclinations / tendencies to the detriment of potentially innocent men.
    To him, every single Detainee is a confirmed killer of US military personnel, regardless of what the evidence indicates.
    While he may understand that abusing and even torturing these charges is immoral, he apparently rationalizes that they deserve it.

    The man is unfit to serve as a Private E-1 Guard, and yet he is Commander of the Guard Force.
    He also told me that AR 190-8, the one governing the detention of POW’s and Civilian Internees, does not apply to his operation at GTMO. That Reg was written specifically to ensure that US military detention operations followed the Law of War.

  4. Clive Stafford-Smith put this demo together.
    It is not accurate.

    In real life (GTMO detention is just about the most real thing on Earth,) men being entereally fed are tied down so tight that they cannot move their heads at all, unlike the demo.
    Their waists are tied tightly to the chair.
    They CAN lift their fingers, but cannot move either their upper or lower arms.
    They cannot move their legs.

    About all they can do is move their tongues, and to a limited extent, their lower jaws. They can talk or scream. Sort of.

    This demo is much too humane to convey what the actual experience is like.
    I ask Kelley Ayotte to go through the next, more realistic Demo. Her and Lindsey Graham.
    Then they would have much more credibility when they deny this constitutes abuse.


    And to clarify, General Kelly, Commander of US Southern Command, and the 4-star responsible for everything that happens at GTMO, denies that anyone at GTMO is being “force-fed.” Raather, he insists that some are being “entereally fed.”
    A distinction without a difference, no ?

      • “Bill and Joe and their staff were consulted about the proper descriptors to apply…”

        One more (of many) example of your inability to make your case on the merits, without setting up others as straw men.


        • Bill,
          I mostly disagree with your posts.
          But I value your respectful discourse.

          I also enjoy JT’s posts.
          Dr. Cole ought to put you 2 in the profit-sharing plan.

  5. I am worried that the image of tube feeding, as portrayed by the guards at Gitmo, may cause a major backlash against a valuable medical tool. Many patients, unable to take nutrition by mouth have feeding tubes placed via their nostrils into their stomachs. These tubes are very small (size 8 French – ‘French’ sizes are the measurement of the tube’s circumference in millimeters), made of highly flexible silicone with a small weight in the end to help them pass. Insertion is typically not uncomfortable and the tubes stay in place between feedings. Similarly, tube feedings are administered in a specific fashion designed to prevent diarrhea or painful overdistention. With the proper medical indications & training, a feeding tube should not be ‘torture’ under any circumstance. A larger tube, a Naso-Gastric or NG Tube is anywhere from 10-18 F. and is used to aspirate gastric contents in patients whose intestinal tracts have ceased working (after bowel surgery for Eg.) or to remove gastric contents (e.g.; drug O.D.). They are often inserted during surgery (patient is unaware) but are usually well-tolerated (full disclosure – I had one in for a week after an operation & found the nasal/pharyngeal pain tolerable only with I.V. pain meds & local anesthetics, but it was necessary to allow bowel healing and to prevent gastric over-distention from natural secretions). I have placed them, or ordered them placed, in multitudes of patients over many years and found almost all of them tolerated them better than I did although having a large (18F) tube placed is uncomfortable, local anesthetics are very helpful in that circumstance. Regarding the situation at Gitmo, there’s absolutely no assurance that the considerations afforded patients at civilian (or military) hospitals are afforded the detainees and I have no doubt that ‘punative’ tube placement is SOP. One need only listen to Amy Goodman’s interview of al Jazeera reporter Sami al-Hajj to understand the deviation of Gitmo’s procedures from standard medical practice.

    All this to say that if tube-feeding is recommended for you or a loved-one, do not think ‘Gitmo’!

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