On Tuesday, January 25, the New York Times and the corporate national press services ran stories about a mass suicide attempt at Guantanamo which took place late in 2003. This event had been hidden from the public because authorities at Guantanamo had classified the attempted suicides not as suicides, but as “self-injurious behavior,” or SIBs. This was the first time, to our knowledge, that the Orwellian SIB classification was acknowledged in the mainstream media. The existence of the SIB classification was first revealed in David Rose’s excellent new book, “Guantanamo: The War on Human Rights.”
But readers of Beyond Chron already knew about SIBs way back on January 7, from staff writer Marc Norton’s article, “This Week in the War on Terror.” Citing Rose’s book, Norton wrote that “the guardians of our concentration camp in Guantanamo reduced the incidence of suicide there by redefining suicide. If a prisoner at Gitmo, as it is affectionately called, manages to tie a noose around his neck, but doesn’t succeed in killing himself, he may only have been engaging in ‘manipulative self-injurious behavior,’ or SIB for short. That’s when a prisoner’s ‘state of mind is such that they did not sincerely want to end their own life.’ In one recent period, there were about two SIBs per week, but suicide attempts were way down.”
Stay informed. Read Beyond Chron, dammit.