The Silence of Our Friends

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

suicide, guantanamo, breaking news

Hello to all!
For those of you who don't know, I'll be cross posting at Donna's for a while until she gets herself settled in to her new home--I hope that I live up to the high standards you have come to know while reading Donna! --bfp

I just surfed over to bbcnews and found this teeny little blurb:

Guantanamo Saudi 'kills himself'
A Saudi Arabian prisoner has died in an apparent suicide at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, the US military has said.

A statement by the US Southern Command said the inmate was found unresponsive and not breathing by guards, and attempts to revive him failed.

Two Saudis and a Yemeni prisoner were found hanged in an apparent suicide at the camp in June last year.

About 380 prisoners are held at the camp, some for as long as five years.

First off, what's up with the scare quotes around "kills himself"--I ask because the u.s. government has been particularly vehement about repositioning "suicide" as "terrorist actions" (as in, committing suicide is not a sign of depression and as such, an indicator of the horrible evilness that is Guantanamo, but rather a continuation of the terrorist mentality that got the person imprisoned to begin with) and I'm wondering if 'kills himself" will eventually be reworked to reflect the u.s. government strategy.

Second--why does this particular piece of 'breaking news' seem like it's going to die off really quickly? It's not even front page news at BBC--OR front page news in the "Americas" section.

And lastly--I realize that headlines are hard to come by some times--but there is just something patently wrong to me with the man in question being called a "Guantanamo Saudi". as if his nationality has been overwritten to such an extent he's no longer a Saudi, he's a *Guantanamo* Saudi. He's a forced citizen of a new nation/state.

A forced citizen of a new nation/state where the nation/state has the right to control when you can breath, sleep, eat, exercise or look at pictures of your children.

5 comment(s):

the bbc tends to have a different convention with quotes than american press.

i don't think it's so much a cavuto mark, as explained by jon stewart...but an indication that the phrase is a direct claim by a party involved.

it's most often used for placing a gov. sound byte into the title.

read properly, it makes sense. i saw that same article and thought:

"the BBC reports that the US government has claimed that a detainee 'killed himself' at Gitmo."

i dunno if that convention makes things better or worse, but it does seem to be their standard. they'll put pretty incendiary stuff in headlines that way by marking it off as a quote and not their own summation.

and good to see you here BFP...i'm glad someone's keeping the lights on here while donna gets settled in.

By Blogger sly civilian, at 5/30/2007 10:14 PM  

I am grateful BfP will be watching out for my little home on the internet while I am gone too!

BfP, could you cross post the FIERCE story that BA linked to here? Everyone needs to know about that and call FIERCE, write op-eds, the governor, show support for those women and their families.

By Blogger Donna, at 5/30/2007 11:40 PM  

Sly Civilian's right about the quotes. I think they stand in for "allegedly" — That is, out here we have to put allegedly or reportedly to some sort of caveat into headlines so that we can't get sued if the info ends up being wrong; the BBC and Brit papers in general seem to just put quotes around the sketchy parts instead.

That said, I don't think it'll stay in the news very long, mostly because nothing about the prisons in Guantanamo Bay seem to, aside from the Padilla case. I'll be shocked if there's anything on the wire tomorrow.

And that makes me really mad. Those prisons have been investigated and investigated and people being released are reporting torture and all kinds of things, and now something about the place made a man kill himself, and tomorrow people will still be analyzing Lindsey Lohan's car accident and Paris Hilton's jail sentence and not a word will be said about things that are actually important. I hate it.

I just wish that everyone who supports this administration's "war on terror" had to look at every single photo from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, etc. marked "graphic" on the newswire. It's not even close to the same as being there, I know, but I think if people had to see those images as much as I do, there'd be a lot more talk and action about issues like this and a lot less on Britney Spears' drug problem.

Sorry for the rant; the local unit just deployed for Iraq this morning, including a few people I knew from high school, and I spent a couple of hours looking through photos of Iraqi refugees and amputees being sent back into battle and I'm just burnt on this. I don't know how anyone can support torture in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay or attacks on Iraqi "militants" that end up killing little children and call it patriotism.

By Anonymous Vox, at 5/31/2007 6:10 AM  

donna--posted!! :p

By Blogger brownfemipower, at 5/31/2007 12:24 PM  

I didn't know that about the quote thing, thanks for telling me. it makes it a little bit more tolerable to bear, you know?

I agree with you vox.i think the reason a lot of this can continue is because u.s. citizens are fed propaganda in the form of "entertainment news"--even fox news has it's own segment on entertainment--I remember when a particular event was happening a while ago (I can't remember what it was, for certain, but it was something going on during the time britney spears cut her hair), i turned in to the news channels to get information and literally every single newscaster, *including* keith olberman, had *multiple* segments on brittney spears cutting her damn hair!!!!! I remember laughing because joe scarborough looked like he was getting his teeth pulled out, but he still charged on with a 20 minute segment--what does this *mean*??? why would brittney *do this*???

and meanwhile, a man finally managed to kill himself at Guantanamo, and I just don't know if i should be happy that he finally is released from his hell or miserable because there's 500 other men in there whose only chance of getting out is to similarly kill themselves.

By Blogger brownfemi, at 5/31/2007 12:38 PM  

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