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Note: the original version of this blog post conflated two separate stories. This version corrects the error.
The Red Cross study of the United States concentration camps at Guantánamo said that conditions were calculated to and would lead detainees to commit suicide. They have done so again, with another death being announced today. The name of the deceased and other identifying information is still unreported. Why would a prisoner held in isolation and robbed of all hope for the future commit suicide? Franz Kafka knew why.
Authorities at Gitmo also announced removal of the defense counsel of Saudi prisoner Omar Khadr. He is one of only three of the 380 prisoners at Guantánamo to be charged with a crime. Khadr’s detailed counsel is quoted by ABC News:
“He doesn’t trust American lawyers, and I don’t particularly blame him,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, who was taken off the case Wednesday. “The United States is responsible for his interrogation, and his treatment under a process that is patently unfair.” Colonel Vokey was excused as defense counsel by Col. Dwight Sullivan, chief defense counsel.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”