16,500 Condoms, 125 Scientists, 4 Months of Antarctic Darkness, hmmmm… (and more!)
According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, at least two-thirds of Guantanamo inmates are at high risk for mental breakdowns. The report states that 185 of the 270 detainees at Guantanamo spend 22 hours in tiny cells, with little to no fresh air and light, with only the Koran to occupy their time.
Moreover, as Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel at HRW notes “Guantanamo detainees who have not even been charged with a crime are being warehoused in conditions that are in many ways harsher than those reserved for the most dangerous, convicted criminals in the United States” i.e. “supermax” prisons.
U.S. inmates of the supermax prison system include, notable Mafia leader Sammy Gravano, bomber Eric Robert Rudolph—responsible for the 1996 bomb at the Atlanta Olympics, and Terry Nicholas—the coconspirator to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
In Other News:
On Monday, Ohio Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich called for the impeachment of President Bush. Kucinich said that he will proposed over two dozen charges centering on Bush’s “calculated and wide-ranging strategy” to trick Congress and the American Public into launching the Iraq War. This symbolic resolution is expected to dead end in the same manner as Kucinich’s similar call for the impeachment of Vice President Cheney in April 2007.
According to a report released Monday, 27.88 million Americans received food stamps in March of 2008—an increase of 5.7 percent from March 2007. Even while Congress and the White House continue to quibble over whether its an economic downturn or a recession, according to anti-hunger experts these numbers reveal massive economic distress whatever you want to call it.
To put these numbers in perspective: 29.85 million is current the record for food stamp enrollment—this number occurred in November 2005 following the gulf hurricane. In second place is 27.97 million—occurring in March 1994 during an economic downturn and following the Northridge Earthquake in California.
And Now for Something Completely Different…
Nearly 16,500 condoms arrived in the last shipment of supplies to U.S. Antarctic research base McMurdo. It is hoped that they will sufficiently supply the 125…. yes, 125, scientists and staff until September. Divided equally, each person should get 132 condoms—so each couple has 264…
Bill Henriksen, the manager of the station stated that the condoms are available to the staff free of charge to avoid the embarrassment of having to buy them– “Since everybody knows everyone, it becomes a little bit uncomfortable.”
Is it just me or should at least some of those condoms be diverted to inner cities and sub-Saharan Africa where obtaining condemns is often impossible—not simply embarrassing.
That’s the news for today. See you tomorrow!
[Guantanamo pic courtesy of reuters]