The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

No News is Good News

It appears that the filthy old woman in Britain's Home Office is not the free world's only martyr to people who refuse to eat. The authorities at Guantánamo Bay have announced that they will no longer reveal how many prisoners are on hunger strike. As one would expect, Guantánamo's motto is "safe, humane, legal, transparent detention", and apparently there are worries that the prison's hard-earned reputation for humanity and legality may be undermined by too much transparency. With one PR man for every eight and one-fifth detainees, it might be thought that the honour of the institution was at least as safe as that of the British Conservative Party; but asymmetrical warfare is a perverse and unpredictable business. Navy Commander John Filostrat, who heads the prison's public-relations team, proclaimed that issuing bulletins on hunger strikes "serves no operational purpose and detracts from the more important issues, which are the welfare of detainees and the safety and security of our troops." It is as yet unclear how many American troops have been killed as a result of too much news about Guantánamo hunger strikers; let alone whether that number bears any resemblance to the number of hard-working families who have suffered as a result of the Home Office being soft on asylum seekers.


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