December 12, 2004


The Guantanamo Bay nightmare gets worse and worse. Here's The Guardian's latest shocking report:

Fresh allegations about a regime of torture and humiliation inflicted on detainees by their American captors atGuantánamoBayhave been made by a Briton still held there, according to Foreign Office documents seen by the Guardian.

The claims by Martin Mubanga, fromLondon, are the latest to surface from the prison where theUSholds 550 Muslim men it claims are terrorists in conditions that have sparked worldwide condemnation.

Mr Mubanga, 31, alleges that only months ago he was kept shackled for so long that he wet himself, and then was forced to clean up his own urine. He claims to have been threatened, that an interrogator stood on his hair, and that he was subjected to extremes of temperature rising to 36C (97F). He was kept chained to the floor by his feet for an hour during a welfare visit from a British government official.

Imagine, if you can, a prison so brutal that inmates don’t have their own personal urine-mopping maids. The Daily Mirror's Stephen Moyes could've used one himself in 2002.

(Via contributor J.F. Beck)

Posted by Tim Blair at December 12, 2004 03:10 AM

36 degrees Centigrade..poor souls. That must therefore mean that 'Mother Nature' is guilty under the Geneva Conventions of torturing Brisbanites with 'extreme' temperatures on Saturday....

'Extreme' temperatures is not torture. Read my previous posts to see what is.

Posted by: Jonathan at December 12, 2004 at 03:28 AM

Wow - extremes of temperature, eh?

Hell, it was that hot here this summer, and I rode my bike around for *fun*...

The urine thing is annoying, though. Shoulda given him a bucket or something.

(And then he'd be complaining that they watched him pee.)

Posted by: cirby at December 12, 2004 at 03:30 AM

Wow. This past summer I had to endure the same extremes of temperature sometimes for up to an hour while waiting for the bus. Gosh, where was the Guardian when I was enduring this torture?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2004 at 03:35 AM

Just goes to show what a bunch of whiney little wusses these terrorists actually are.

Posted by: Rebecca at December 12, 2004 at 03:43 AM

No prostitutes?

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at December 12, 2004 at 03:45 AM

They were going to expose him to 98 Degrees, but the CD player kept skipping. International incident averted!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at December 12, 2004 at 04:06 AM

97 degrees? That's two degrees hotter than my apartment in August. Boo hoo.

Posted by: Brian Engler at December 12, 2004 at 04:17 AM

Try this out:

Put on 20lbs. of equipment, run around in 97-degree heat for three hours at a time with no rest and little water, while grown men yell at you and your peers are driven to run headlong at full-speed into various pieces of equipment, and into other human beings, with the sole purpose of knocking them down.

I'll be waiting for the Red Cross to shut down American high school football practice any day now...

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at December 12, 2004 at 04:34 AM

If he doesn't like hot summers - what is he doing in Afhanistan? They saved his life by capturing him: "Summer temperatures as high as 49°C (120°F) have been recorded in the northern valleys" according to Encarta.

Posted by: jorgen at December 12, 2004 at 04:40 AM

But I thought that Peter Garrett said that the "desert lives and breathes... at forty-five degrees."

Posted by: Andrew at December 12, 2004 at 05:03 AM

Coming to think about it, this summer it was 38+ C where I live. Perhaps Al-Guardian could make a letter-writing campaign to the Spanish government?

Posted by: jorgen at December 12, 2004 at 05:08 AM

97 degrees? The French inflict worse torture than that on people they love.

Do editors at The Grauniad ever read the crap they publish?

Posted by: lyle at December 12, 2004 at 05:43 AM

he wet himself, and then was forced to clean up his own urine.

Sounds like the last time I crawled home from the local bar.

Posted by: Roger Bournival at December 12, 2004 at 05:43 AM

My internal organs have been subject to temperatures over 36C every day since I was born. Sometimes I've had to endure higher temperatures -- even when ill!

Posted by: E. Nough at December 12, 2004 at 07:18 AM

Yet another unintentionally funny "expose" from al_Guardian. Maybe if Mr Mubanga of London wasn't off playing mercenary holy warrior with his Jihadi friends he wouldn't gotten himself into that pickle. No?

Hey E. Nough, how ya been? Haven't seen you at LGF in a month of Sundays.

Posted by: Spiny Norman at December 12, 2004 at 07:53 AM

A documentary is already being made. It's name will be "Fahrenheit 91.1".

Posted by: Andjam at December 12, 2004 at 08:27 AM

he was subjected to extremes of temperature rising to 36C (97F).

Well, maybe it was while helping to install a 'hot-tar roof', out under the sun. That does suck.

BTW, is that as hot as it gets in Cuba, in the summer? Not bad.

I'll bet he was also subjected to a 'sea-breeze'.

the horror...the horror...

Posted by: Thomas at December 12, 2004 at 09:06 AM

I played a cricket match last season in Melbourne and it was 44C. Oh the torture. Lucky no-one stood on my hair.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at December 12, 2004 at 10:22 AM

You chicken-hawks...If you had been kidnapped and held for years without charge or trial and suffered the kind of abuse indicated here - you'd crack in less than a week. You'd be crying for your lawyer and your human rights and wondering why AI and MSF wasn't looking out for you. Morons the lot of you. Grow up. Human rights apply to everyone - even if they are alleged to be terrorists. If you don't believe that then you are no better than they are.

Posted by: doba at December 12, 2004 at 10:52 AM

didnt one gitmo vacationer complain that they forced him to listen to a fleetwood mac cd?

Posted by: roscoe at December 12, 2004 at 10:53 AM

"You chicken-hawks..."

Oh look, it's the spoor of a stupid troll. No need to read further, really.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2004 at 11:22 AM

roscoe: on the other hand, Fleetwood Mac -- well, if it was "Tusk" then I'd say it's grounds for inquiry. No one should have to listen to that. Well maybe Hitler. And whoever thought up those incoherent Virgin Airways ads.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2004 at 11:24 AM

No, it was worse than that: It was a girl-band doing covers of Fleetwood Mac songs.

And hey, I like Tusk!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 12, 2004 at 11:36 AM

I'll try to forgive you.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2004 at 12:38 PM

The International Red Star (sorry cross) is overlooking the torture of millions in inland California, southern Arizona, and Texas where farmers, ranchers, construction laborers, and other oppressed workers, are forced by evil capitalists to toil in the sun when daytime temperatures in the shade are rarely below 38 C from May through October!!
The commie fools at The Guardian need a few more emails barrages to jar them back to reality. Oh that's right! The jihadis fascists need aircon for their cells.
Any question why the lefty chattering clases and their lower level usefulmidiots can't figure out why Howard and Bush won the recent elections as will Blair and Berlusconi soon.

Posted by: Paul at December 12, 2004 at 01:16 PM

Ah doba, when the noble Taliban and Al Qaeda warriors took an American SEAL prisoner in Afghanistan they immediately cut his throat. The jihadis and Ba'athist pissants in Iraq make snuff videos of the human sacrifices they make to their god. If they captured any of us we would not have to endure the sort of experiences of the prisoners in Gitmo, since we'd be murdered before then. Take a gander at the torture rooms the Marines and soldiers found in Fallujah, and compare them with Gitmo.

Hundreds of the Gitmo prisoners have been released. The ones remaining are the ones our people think have valuable information or who should not be released during the war for other reasons. In WWII we did not release German prisoners during the war, but held them for years without charges. And the German prisoners were much more likely to have fought in accordancwe with the laws and customs of war, and the Geneva Conventions, than the jihadis do. Everything the jihadis do contravenes the Geneva Conventions.

Time for YOU to grow up little one.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at December 12, 2004 at 01:55 PM

fleetwood mac covers? that is beyond inhumane. someone call amnesty!!

Posted by: roscoe at December 12, 2004 at 05:22 PM

Well, he IS from London. You can't expect him to handle 36C

Posted by: maor at December 13, 2004 at 12:57 AM

I pissed myself laughing at this article. Now I have to clean myself up.

Damn you chickenhawks - damn you all.

Posted by: Larry at December 13, 2004 at 01:20 AM

I worked for years in sunny Illinois in the metal working industries. 1650 F was basic to what we did; I've seen thermometers reading 2400. The work space itself could be hot enough that we would go outside to cool off when it was 98 F outside. One task exposed me to enough radiant heat that I would wear pants with plastic fly buttons when I knew it was coming up. Oh, by the way, we didn't just stand around all day, either.

Posted by: triticale at December 13, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Martin Mubanga is a Zambian living in London where he was a courier,did he take a wrong turn at the Dartford Tunnel?

Posted by: Peter at December 13, 2004 at 05:50 AM

Maybe the gitmohadeen should try hunger strikes. It seems to be all the rage - Saddam is try it out:,4057,11673496^1702,00.html

Posted by: Larry at December 13, 2004 at 07:52 AM

Compare their conditions to those in American prisons. I would bet many American inmates would gladly change their places with the jihadists at Gitmo.

Funny you never hear much from the IRC about American prisons. Maybe they really don't care.

Posted by: Slip Knot at December 13, 2004 at 08:18 AM

Slip Knot, you apparently have no idea what your talking about.

In fact, I'd wager a number of you people have little to no clue.

Posted by: opus512 at December 14, 2004 at 05:14 AM

Opus, we'd like to hear your special, secret knowledge. Or... are you actually as clueless as you claim everyone else here is, and you're just a silly little troll?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 14, 2004 at 10:34 PM

And that goes for Slip Knot too. Maybe he's been in prison and can tell us all about it. Well, go ahead, guy with the "macho", "edgy" nickname.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 14, 2004 at 10:35 PM

Andrea; Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they're a troll. Most trolls don't bother to post their email address. Hm, you don't seem to have posted yours.

Anyway, seeing as how most stories linked here are from outside the US, I'm going to take a chance and say that probably most people posting here aren;t from the US, where as I am.

That doesn't mean I'm smarter then anyone else here, but it does mean I probably read more US centric news then some or most people here.

There's a number of differences between US prisons and Gitmo where they're holding detainess. There are also a number of differences in the rights of the people held there. Meaning, they have none.

But back to my statement, was Slip Knot refering to federal prisons in his comparison? Or maybe state prisons? And if so, which state was he refering to? Or, for that matter, what federal prison? The prisons in the US, I would imagine much like any country in the world, can vary widely in their comparisons to each other.

I don't want to post more then most people will bother to read, so I'll just end with this; our current administration has such little confidence in our legal system that they are doing everything they can to keep our enemies out of it. How much easier it is to simply label them as non entities. I'm sure Communist Russia would have been proud, or perhaps China.

The US is supposed to stand for something, at least that's my admitedly naive personal beliefe. But the Bush administration has wiped it's ass with everything we used to stand for. Pre emptive war of choice with no cause, no proof, no rational. Nation building on a scale not seen, well, pretty much ever, if you include the fact that we attacked them first. Forcing democracy onto a disparete people that are not really ready for it, or don't even want it, who were forced together in the first place by the blind colonialism of England.

Why we attacked Iraq was a mistake. How we attacked Iraq was a mistake. How we occupied Iraq was a mistake. How we're rebuilding Iraq is a mistake. How we're holding our enemies is a mistake. We should be parading them before the world, showing the world how truth and justice win out over evil and tyrrany. Instead, we practice a soft core version of the same tyrrany we claim to be fighting against.

As you can guess, I voted for Kerry last election. But I would have voted for Sharpton if it would have gotten Bush out of office.

Explanation enough?

Posted by: opus512 at December 15, 2004 at 02:34 AM

Dear Opus: disagreeing with the methods and plans of others does not mean that your real name is "God." However, mine is, so I am closing this discussion. Oh -- and by the way, that's nice that you have outed yourself as one of those "Anybody But Bush" losers. Four more years.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 16, 2004 at 01:49 PM