Something I’ve learned that few Americans realize is that those who are subject to the most abuse at Guantanamo are not the detainees but the medics and guards who serve them. This shocking state of affairs has been largely under-reported by media whose focus remains on unsubstantiated tales of torture generated primarily from released detainees and attorneys who represent them.
Free Beacon GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE—Prison guards here at the Guantanamo Bay prison are attacked on a “daily basis” by detainees, according to Commander John Filostat, a prison spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo.
There are “daily attacks against the guard both verbal and physical,” such as scratching and other assaults, Filostat told reporters on Tuesday. “Guards endure that on a daily basis.”
Detainees also engage in “splashing,” which is when a “bodily fluid cocktail” is tossed at guards, who now wear protective wear and facemasks when dealing with high value prisoners being held at Camp 5 and Camp 6, according to Filostat.
From Inside Gitmo– A young female Navy medic who was asked to approach a detainee she had treated in the past. The man grabbed her head, smashed her face against the bars, and inflicted such damage that she has had 16 reconstructive plastic surgeries on her face.
– A female nurse who while treating a detainee in the hospital was punched so hard that it fractured her nose. The detainee then shouted that “this infidel whore’s blood has defiled me. Bring me fresh clothes!”
– Guards who have a noxious “cocktail” of feces, urine, semen, spit, and vomit flung into their faces and who then clean themselves, change into fresh uniforms, and resume their duties rather than let their buddies down by taking time off.
– Detainee plots to kill guards, and how one attack came perilously close to success.
– Riots in the hospital in which medical personnel were threatened with death.
– A returning National Guard soldier who is too embarrassed to tell his friends where he served because the reputations of soldiers at Guantanamo has been so slandered.
Muslim prisoners in Gitmo attack guards more than 400 times per year.
“There’s some type of resistance every day,” Filostat said, noting that a “small number” of detainees are still being force fed due to hunger strikes. “We will always have those trying protest,” Filostat said.
One guard and his family were physically threatened by a detainee who had obtained a copy of a media report that featured the guard’s name and photograph, Filostat said. “Personal information” about the guard was used “against him as a threat by a detainee” who had read the report, he said.
“A lot of these detainees are still in the fight,” Filostat said. The guards are “in constant contact with folks who want to do harm to them.”
“There are detainees that also tell guards if they get out they’re going to find them,” Filostat added, acknowledging inmate threats to “guards and their families.” Those inmates deemed “non-compliant” are housed in single cells within Camp 5, while those identified as less of a threat are kept in Camp 6, which is a more communal environment.
Detainees are treated to some physical activity and reportedly enjoy playing soccer, Filostat reported. Even those in Camp 7 have access to the news and can read newspapers such as the Washington Post.
Accused 9/11 enabler Ramzi bin al Shibh was spotted by reporters at Tuesday’s military hearing reading a copy of the Post. Filostat would not discuss any details pertaining to the secret Camp 7, where suspects such as al Shibh and accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed are housed.
“We don’t talk about the ops at Camp 7,” Filostat said in response to questions about the facility, which is said to be rundown and deteriorating. A Camp 7 commander was originally scheduled to testify this week before the court, but that fell through upon surprise revelations that the FBI had tried to recruit a member of the defense team as an informant.
Judge James Pohl instructed the defense team on Tuesday afternoon to assemble a detailed order explaining the types of information and testimony they would want to receive FBI officials involved in the alleged investigation.
Pohl additionally directed all current and past members of the defense team to reveal to head lawyers whether they too had been approached or interviewed by any federal agency, including the FBI.
The prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay have attacked their military guards hundreds of times, turning broken toilet parts, utensils, radios and even a bloody lizard into makeshift weapons, Pentagon reports say.
Sweetness & Light Incident reports reviewed by The Associated Press indicate Military Police guards are routinely head-butted, spat upon and doused by “cocktails” of feces, urine, vomit and sperm collected in meal cups by the prisoners.
They’ve been repeatedly grabbed, punched or assaulted by prisoners. The detainee “reached under the face mask of an IRF (Initial Reaction Force) team member’s helmet and scratched his face, attempting to gouge his eyes,” states a May 27, 2005, report on an effort to remove a recalcitrant prisoner from his cell.
Entire wings of prisoners were reported to become riotous after complaints emerged that guards mishandled a Quran or mistreated prisoners. However, prisoners themselves were reported to have destroyed their Muslim holy books, the reports state.”Detainee tore his Quran into small pieces,” a guard reported in May 2003. A month later, a prisoner “did intentionally destroy his Quran and throw (it) out of his cell,” another report stated.
Tensions likewise flared during Christmas week 2004, with inmates frequently spitting on guards. On Christmas Eve, a prisoner who was angry that he couldn’t finish his meal was said to have used a plastic fork-spoon utensil — called a spork — to attack a guard collecting his tray. “Detainee stabbed the MP guard … in the hand with his spork from chow meal,” the report said, adding the prisoner later “made a slicing motion across his neck” and vowed to kill the guard.
“They’ll take the smallest things, be it a piece of rust,” he said. “They told us they are going to take that piece of rust and they are going for the jugular, they are going for the eye. They know what our vulnerabilities are, anatomically speaking.”
Meal plates, shower flip-flops, cleaning brushes and other items deemed harmless in civilian life also are commonly turned into weapons, the reports said. For instance:
–”Detainee in cell grabbed the radio from an MP and then threw the radio at the MP. The detainee then threw rocks at the MP,” a Dec. 23, 2003, incident report stated.
–A detainee “reached out of his bean hole and attacked MP (name redacted) with a piece of metal foot pad from toilet striking him on the left hip area,” a July 15, 2005, report said.
–”Detainee broke off the top of his sink, subsequently broke out the window then began throwing the sink and pieces of pipes at the Block Guard,” a March 25, 2005, report said.