Jed Babbin spares a thought for the three terrorists who committed suicide at Guantanamo Bay. His thought is that we should not shed any tears for them, much less adopt suicidal policies in response. One of the “martyrs” — Ali Abdullah Ahmed — was an Al Qaeda operative with links to that organization’s top members including al-Zubaydah. Another — Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi — was a member of Jama’at Tabligh, a militant missionary/recruitment group for al-Queda and other terrorist groups. The third — Yassar Talal Al-Zahrani — was a front-line fighter for the Taliban who facilitated weapons purchases for Taliban offensives against US and Coalition forces and participated in the Afghan prison uprising that resulted in the death of CIA officer Johnny Michael Spann. All three had their cases reviewed by an administrative review board. In all three cases the board reached the only sensible decision — keep these dangerous men away from the battle field. Only a society with a serious death wish would act differently.
Which brings us to the New York Times. Employing its rote response to every misfortune that befalls anyone (including terrorists) in the course of the war against terrorism, the Times deems these suicides the inevitable result of administration policy. Specifically, the Times calls the deaths
the inevitable result of creating a netherworld of despair beyond the laws of civilized nations, where men were to be held without any hope of decent treatment, impartial justice or, in so many cases, even eventual release.
Actually, as Babbin notes, prison suicides are the inevitable result of putting people in prison. Jails are not happy places, and a number of prison inmates in this country kill themselves each year. Moreover, most of them don’t have the twin incentives of dealing our government a PR blow (courtesy of the New York Times and other opponents of seriously fighting terrorism) and meeting up with dozens of virgins in the next world. We should not forget that suicide has become the goal of good Islamic terrorists.
These suicides will result in more pressure to close Gitmo or else grant trials to everyone held there. The former option would grant more “process” to terrorists than to POWs, a far more respectable lot. The latter option would be suicidal, since most of these folks would “inevitably” begin plotting again to kill Americans.