It's "U.S says" time at Chi Trib, where the page one Guantanamo suicide story has that the suicides are "prompting new calls for an immediate shutdown" in the lede. (So what?) In 2nd 'graph, we read that "the Bush administration battles growing international criticism of its detention procedures." (So what?)
They were "committed jihadists" who hung themselves as an act of "asymetrical warfare," says Guantanamo commander Adm. Harry Harris, meaning "tactics of insurgents who face a militarily superior U.S. force in combat," says Trib, explaining the term in common use by "U.S. military officials." (They can be eerily detached sometimes.)
Army Gen. John Craddock, the leader of U.S. Southern Command, said the men were not among detainees seeking U.S. court reviews of their cases and had not yet appeared before controversial military trial panels. Craddock insisted that the three, although not accused of any crimes, were enemy combatants and terrorists. [Italics added]
"Insisted," as vs. overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Or insisting on one's innocence? How about good old "averred" or, God save the mark, "said." Chi Trib has something it's trying to say and should spit it out.
They want to "become martyrs," said (insisted?) Craddock, who arguably knows more about it than Chi Trib people, but who knows? Some of those editors are very smart.
In any case, they have their talking points down well:
But as many detainees pass their four-year mark in captivity without formal charges, human-rights activists and defense attorneys said the prisoners have grown despondent over being detained without charges and without imminent prospects of a court hearing. [Take that, Craddock and Harris, you Bush pawns.]"People have been indefinitely detained for five years without any prospect of ever going home of ever seeing their families or ever being charged or having any resolution," said Jumana Musa, an advocacy director for Amnesty International in Washington. "There is no question serious psychological trauma comes from that." [Jumana Musa said that? Well that's another story.]
Even Kofi Annan, of oil-for-food fame, gets space in this ridiculous article, written by people with an agenda, folks! On the other hand, at article's end:
[Adm] Harris said one [of the suicides] was part of a Taliban uprising at the Qala-I-Jangi prison in Afghanistan, where CIA operative Johnny "Mike" Spann was killed in 2001, becoming the first U.S. combat casualty in Afghanistan. Another was a member of Jamat al Tabligh, an Islamic group the military considers a terrorist organization. The other was a "mid- to high-level" Al Qaeda operator, he said.
But can Harris be trusted? We at Chi Trib doubt it. He "insists," doesn't he, and officials "refuse" (vs. other standby, "decline," used when you want to go easy on the decliner) to release suicide notes, which could then feed fanatical fires.
Consider, on the other hand, the AP story that by dinner time had bumped the hard-copy story on the Trib site, "Suicides Renews [sic] Criticism of Guantanamo,"out of San Juan, with its flat-out, this-is-how-it-is lede (none of this "So&So says" up front):
A "stench of despair" hangs over the Guantanamo Bay prison where three detainees committed suicide this weekend, a defense lawyer who recently visited the U.S. jail in Cuba said as calls increased Sunday to close the facility.
There we are. You can do it, Chi Trib: give the same treatment to the U.S. military as AP gives a defense lawyer. Go on.