McClellan’s Defense of Conditions At Gitmo Backfires

Today, Scott McClellan responded to a United Nations report calling for the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison:

First of all, the U.N. team that was looking into this issue did not even visit Guantanamo Bay. They did not go down and see the facilities. … But the International Committee for the Red Cross has been provided full access to the detainees.

McClellan is right. The Red Cross has visited Guantanamo Bay several times. In fact, in June 2004, they found the detainees were subjected to conditions “tantamount to torture”:

The report of the June visit said investigators had found a system devised to break the will of the prisoners at Guant¡namo, who now number about 550, and make them wholly dependent on their interrogators through “humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions.” Investigators said that the methods used were increasingly “more refined and repressive” than learned about on previous visits. “The construction of such a system, whose stated purpose is the production of intelligence, cannot be considered other than an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture,” the report said.