March 6, 2013
In a news cycle already clogged with troubling reports from Guantanamo Bay arrives an even more troubling report: In January, a guard fired a "non-lethal" round at a prisoner. The military says it was just a ploy to win attention, a claim that makes a little less sense once you learn that the incident happened in Camp 6, the area reserved for cooperative captives where the government just spent $744,000 on renovations that included a soccer field for prisoners. While it's basically impossible to know what motivated the prisoner in question to act out and how exactly the guard decided to fire his weapon, this marks an unprecedented escalation of tension between Guantanamo officials, inmates and the lawyers who represent them. Only once before have Guantanamo prisoners reportedly been fired on but details of the incident were never confirmed.
Details about the so-called "use of firearm incident" are sketchy, but both sides have confirmed that an inmate caused trouble and a guard used his gun. We probably never would've known about it either if a group of lawyers for Guantanamo prisoners hadn't spoken up. "According to the narrative emerging from both sides, a detainee in the recreation yard had sought the attention of a tower guard who controlled a gate leading to the pathway back to the prison," reports The MIami Herald's Carol Rosenberg, who broke the story. "[Guantanamo spokesman Navy Capt. Robert] Durand said he tried to scale a fence, a violation of rules, but climbed down when the guard ordered him to do it." The prisoners' lawyers requested an investigation in a letter to Guantanamo commander Navy Rear Adm. John Smith Jr. but say they have not received a response.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire.
March 6, 2013