Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Suicide is Painless

Excuse me if I remain unmoved by the plight of the detainees at Guantanamo. What is the point precisely of this article? (Except of course, to imply that there is horrible abuse going on there). Are they trying to suggest that the detainees are symbolically saying, "Give me liberty or give me death?"

Permit me to doubt. They made their choice. Now they will have to abide by the consequences. I personally don't think that they should be free to pursue their jihad. Let him make a suicide attempt at Guantanamo, rather than engaging in suicide-bombing elsewhere.

I spent quite a bit of time working at jails and prisons over my career, and the one thing you see there constantly is suicide attempts. There are many causes for why this happens. A big one is that a person's mental health tends not to improve in prison.

Another big one is that every prisoner likes the idea of being in a psychiatric hospital as opposed to a prison. Making a suicide gesture or even saying you are suicidal might just be the ticket to somewhere else.

Some inmates are genuinely mentally ill and require treatment. That's why people like me are brought in as consultants.

In this particular case, if the media goes wild over a purported "desecrated" Koran, maybe the suicide bit (remember that suicide is a viable strategy of jihad) can overexcite them again.

But "desperation" -- sorry, I don't buy it. Unless it is the usual desperation that humans experience when they have to face the consequences of their own choices.

Dossari's attempt was a serious one. I hope he gets the appropriate treatment. But prisons and jails all over the world are filled with pathetic people who have done terrible things and made extremely bad choices in their lives. One of the consequences of their terrible actions is that they must learn to live with what they've done. Suicide can be the easy way out in some cases.

It's sad that some people detained in Guantanamo are sad. I'm sad about it. But that doesn't mean that their human rights have been violated.

Or that they are poor helpless "victims" of circumstance.

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