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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/26/18

Three Suicides in One Night -- Guantanamo Prison Commander Nominated as US Ambassador to South Korea

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Message Ann Wright
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Why nominate to be the US Ambassador to South Korea a military general officer who was in charge of notorious Guantanamo prison when on June 9, 2006 at a secret facility on the prison grounds, three prisoners ended up dead?

And how did three prisoners -- Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi, Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed al-Salami and Yasser Talal Al Zahrani -- end up dead? US military said the three prisoners committed suicide -- all in the same way -- by hanging themselves while handcuffed after stuffing socks in their mouths.

In Scott Horton's extensive article in Harpers' magazine "The Guantanamo 'Suicides' A Camp Delta Sergeant Blows the Whistle," that every member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee should read and ask Admiral Harris about, Horton writes...

"According to Naval Crime Investigative Service (NCIS) documents, each prisoner had fashioned a noose from torn sheets and T-shirts and tied it to the top of his cell's eight-foot-high steel-mesh wall. Each prisoner was able somehow to bind his own hands, and, in at least one case, his own feet, then stuff more rags deep down into his own throat. We are then asked to believe that each prisoner, even as he was choking on those rags, climbed up on his washbasin, slipped his head through the noose, tightened it, and leapt from the washbasin to hang until he asphyxiated. The NCIS report also proposes that the three prisoners, who were held in non-adjoining cells, carried out each of these actions almost simultaneously."

The cover-up of what happened to the three prisoners began within hours after the bodies of the three were delivered to the Guantanamo prison medical facility. The bodies of the three men who died at Guantanamo showed signs of torture, including hemorrhages, needle marks, and significant bruising. The removal of their throats made it difficult to determine whether they were already dead when their bodies were suspended by a noose.

Using sworn statements from Admiral Harris and from Carol Kisthardt, the special agent in charge of the NCIS investigation at Guantanamo, that there had been a conspiracy among prisoners to commit suicide, every piece of paper possessed by every prisoner in Camp America, NCIS seized over 1,065 pounds of material, much of it privileged attorney-client correspondence was seized by NCIS.

Oh yes, when Senators are questioning Admiral Harris, I hope they ask him how he intends to smooth over the concerns of South Koreans about his ethnicity. Even though he is a US citizen, he is half-Japanese (his American father was in the Navy in Japan where he met and married Harris' Japanese mother) which may not go over well with the South Koreans who remember the brutal Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula for decades and the cruelty of the Japanese military to Korean women who were used as sex slaves or "comfort women."

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Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand (more...)
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