How Barbaric Is Force-Feeding? Ctd

You be the judge. Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) demonstrates the force-feeding procedure used on Gitmo hunger strikers:

Conor watched the video (I actually found it too painful after a while):

[W]hile I don’t know whether or not forced feeding crosses the line of torture, the exercise reminded me of the late Christopher Hitchens volunteering to be waterboarded.

The Obama Administration is force-feeding numerous Gitmo prisoners twice daily as a response to a hunger strike they launched to protest being held indefinitely without charges or trial.

The standard procedures used include “strapping detainees to a chair, forcing a tube down their throats, feeding them large quantities of liquid nutrients and water, and leaving them in the chair for as long as two hours to keep them from purging the food,” The Washington Post has reported. Detainees say the procedures are abusive, verge on torture, and have “caused them to urinate and defecate on themselves and that the insertion and removal of the feeding tube was painful.”

It’s definitely grotesquely inhumane. Seizing control of a human being’s internal body and organs, painfully forcing instruments inside his sinuses and stomach twice daily to keep him under the total control of the authorities is horrifying enough. But when you consider that, unlike Mos Def, these prisoners, many innocent or falsely charged, have no way to challenge their indefinite detention, and are stuck in an endless purgatory of nothingness, the barbarism is obvious. As is the sadism and “globalized indifference” of the American public and their craven Congress. Steve Chapman wants the force-feedings to stop:

It would be unpleasant for the administration to accept the possibility that these detainees will die by starvation. But it might also force the American public and its elected representatives to wake up to the needless, open-ended suffering that is being inflicted on innocent people. It might induce other nations to accept freed inmates.

It might do none of these things. Then maybe the hunger strikers will conclude they are better off dead. If that choice reflects badly on us, it should.

Amen. Life-long confinement without even due process of any meaningful sort, is so alien to democratic principles and Western jurisprudence, it remains a rebuke to everything America claims to stand for.

Earlier Dish on force-feeding here.