Lawyers say Frist is lying about Gitmo prisoner treatment

By RICHARD POWELSON

Two civil rights attorneys who have visited with detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp strongly disagreed Friday with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s public statements that prisoners are receiving good health care and regular access to attorneys.


Frist, R-Tenn., toured part of the camp Sunday and gave a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday about the medical care being "better than many Americans" get and suggested they generally are able to "see their lawyers."

Wells Dixon, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, said the center is working with 600 attorneys across the country to try to provide legal aid to about 450 detainees at Guantanamo who want a judicial review of their imprisonment. Another 10 to 15 detainees are working with other counsel, he said.

"The government does absolutely, positively everything that it can to prevent, to frustrate, to delay counsel access to detainees," Dixon said in an interview. He estimated that perhaps only about 20 percent of the detainee population so far has been granted access to an attorney.

Candace Gorman, a Chicago attorney, said she has been working since mid-summer to represent two of the detainees and was denied access to one (Abdal Razak Ali) when she got to Cuba in July despite having a court order to permit access. She plans to return to Guantanamo Monday.

Her other client has Hepatitis B and suspects he is dying of liver cancer and has complained of long delays between tests and seeing medical specialists and getting the treatment he needs. The client, Abdul Hamid Abdul Salam Al-Ghizzawi, cannot even get the government to give him copies of his medical records to show what tests have been done and what they showed, she said.

"Everything is top secret with this administration," Gorman said in an interview. "Even their own medical records."

Gorman said whatever tour Frist was given at Guantanamo was "obviously a walk-through made for the politicians."

Frist said Tuesday that he based his impressions of the prison conditions on visits with several base administrators and tours of five detainee camps and their medical facilities.

Frist could not be contacted about the two attorneys’ complaints. But his aide, Amy Call, said Frist, a former heart and lung transplant surgeon, also received information from health care personnel at the camp.

Dixon said his legal rights organization has received many complaints from detainees about either inadequate health care at Guantanamo or psychiatrists and other medical personnel taking part in painful or traumatic interrogations at the base.

Of Frist’s comment that detainees are getting health care "better than many Americans," Dixon said: "I’d say that’s false unless, of course, he’s referring to the many millions of Americans who are uninsured in the United States. Things are not fine at Guantanamo."

Justice Department attorneys said in written responses to Gorman’s lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that Guantanamo detainees receive medical care that "is comprehensive and includes, where warranted, full hospital facilities and the use of appropriate medical specialists."

(Contact Richard Powelson of The Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee at http://www.knoxnews.com.)

12 Responses to "Lawyers say Frist is lying about Gitmo prisoner treatment"

  1. liz  September 19, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    why do Gitmo inmates get more healthcare than American citizens?

  2. Gitmo Sailor.  September 28, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    So maybe I was a little off base with my remarks. I get tired of seeing so much bad media about GTMO, and how the detainees are treated, that I put it all out there. Yes, they are detainees but, they do get good medical treatment. The accustions that they are denied treatment or lawyers is false. There are times when it is not feasible to provide them with everything they want at that time. The medics make rounds daily and help ensure the Detainees are in good health. They are given 3 hot meals a day and we even go so far as to make sure the food is Halal. (For those that are unsure; Halal-1 : sanctioned by Islamic law; especially : ritually fit for use (halal foods)
    2 : selling or serving food ritually fit according to Islamic law (a halal restaurant) (Direct from the Mirriam Webster Dictionary)
    As for Bill from Dover;
    “And I’m supposed to believe that Muslims masturbate”
    Why yes, you should. It happens. Enough about that.
    For Arlo J. Thudpucker;
    Yes, anonymity is a great thing. Guess what, terrorist can read, and they probably have read this. I don’t want to have to look behind me for the rest of my life.
    In conclusion, I have looked in their eyes and have seen the evil that lurks behind them. These people would kill us just as soon as look at us.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  3. Gitmo Sailor.  September 28, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    So maybe I was a little off base with my remarks. I get tired of seeing so much bad media about GTMO, and how the detainees are treated, that I put it all out there. Yes, they are detainees but, they do get good medical treatment. The accustions that they are denied treatment or lawyers is false. There are times when it is not feasible to provide them with everything they want at that time. The medics make rounds daily and help ensure the Detainees are in good health. They are given 3 hot meals a day and we even go so far as to make sure the food is Halal. (For those that are unsure; Halal-1 : sanctioned by Islamic law; especially : ritually fit for use (halal foods)
    2 : selling or serving food ritually fit according to Islamic law (a halal restaurant) (Direct from the Mirriam Webster Dictionary)
    As for Bill from Dover;
    “And I’m supposed to believe that Muslims masturbate”
    Why yes, you should. It happens. Enough about that.
    For Arlo J. Thudpucker;
    Yes, anonymity is a great thing. Guess what, terrorist can read, and they probably have read this. I don’t want to have to look behind me for the rest of my life.
    In conclusion, I have looked in their eyes and have seen the evil that lurks behind them. These people would kill us just as soon as look at us.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  4. Bill  September 16, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    Frist is Bush’s puppet. That man walks around with plastic smile and nods like a toy on the dashboard. I’m sure he finds everything just fine at Guantanamo. I’m sure they get the same quality of health care that I get: none. I am over 60 and I do not have insurance. The only thing Frist every disagreed with this Administration on was stem cell research because he sees the huge monetary benefits in it. Please remember, Frist, can diagnose a comatose woman, without ever seeing her in person, just to agree with the White House anti-euthanasia position.

  5. GTMO Sailor  September 16, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    Hey, instead of following the pack and listening to what the media says, why dont you ask someone who has and still is in Guantanamo Bay. I have been out here for 6 months and not once have I seen a detainee lack for health care. They get better treatment than the soldiers and sailors that work out here. They get good meals, rec time, and access to library goods. To be honest, we are the ones that are mistreated. The detainee’s call us names, throw “cocktails” consisting of feces, urine, spit, and semen at us. So, again, instead of listining to everything the media feeds you, ask a sailor or soldier who has been there.

  6. Arlo J. Thudpucker  September 16, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Yo, GTMO!

    Anonymity is a wonderful thing. You can sling bullshit until it’s up to your nose, and still be unaccountable.

    Notice that the article references two named lawyers with very specific complaints. They, unlike you, may be held accountable for their assertions.

    By now, even you may have noticed that this administration has zero credibility. They have been routinely caught in massive lies which have required conspiracies to coordinate.

    In fact, they have been caught lying about Guantanamo.

    Any statement issued by this administration is suspect.

    Collectively, they have earned the title of “World’s Premier Lying Bastards”.

    So, spare us your “first person” accounts.

    After November, I am looking forward to investigations to hold the lying curs responsible for their actions, and the attendant coverups.

  7. Bill from Dover  September 17, 2006 at 12:41 am

    The [sic]detainee’s call us names, throw “cocktails” consisting of feces, urine, spit, and semen at us

    And I’m supposed to believe that Muslims masturbate?

  8. SEAL  September 17, 2006 at 2:58 am

    Every prison in the United States, whether state or federal, is designed to discourage the inmates from accessing health or dental care and provides the absolute minimum in health care for those who manage to get through the roadblocks.

    Also, the access to anything that would enable their defense to the charges against them is a genius of frustration by the rules they wrap around it.

    This is one of the lesser known conditions of this country’s prison system. Why would GITMO be any different? Notice that the article makes no mention of bobble head Frist speaking to any inmates.

  9. Honesty Now  September 17, 2006 at 3:21 am

    Gitmo – first, thank you for standing the post. Second, everything you say is well known fact, but at the same time will never be admitted by the ‘WeHateGeorge’ left.

    To the fake ‘SEAL’ – if you’re a SEAL, I’m Madonna. I sure hope you run into a REAL S.E.A.L. someday, and try to pretend to be one. It’d be funny to see how much hospital time you require after he sets you straight on showing respect for that title.

  10. Gathaiga  September 18, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    ANY healthcare would be more than many Americans receive. Any assertion by a member of the family that started HCA, not to mention being a Repubnican, is suspect.

  11. Steve Horn  September 18, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    Golly, don’t tell me that a politician will lie? Frist, like the other war mongers who misquote the Bible to make themselves wealthy and (more) powerful should really be given the opportunity to experience combat. And while in a combat zone (not safe in the green zone) consider his fate should he be captured by the other side. And then ponder his fate if THEY ignore proper treatment of PW’s, if HE is denied access to health care, to an attorney. If he is held for years without charge, and is tortured to give “information” –
    Perhaps under those circumstances his views would be different.
    You have the power to change the direction of our government this November – get out and vote – Bush didn’t win in 2000 or 2004 – apathy on the left gave him the presidency. Apathy gave the conservatives control of congress. Get out and vote this Novemember and take the congress back – and let those leftist freshmen deal with the Administration.

    Peace

    Steve

    http://www.deadwinorecords.com

  12. udo  September 18, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Frist may be right. The access poor people have to health care in this country is deplorable. And Frist ought to know first hand, being not only an M.D. but also a stockholder in a chain of HMOs whose “for profit” policy is likely to have bilked the Medicare fund out of millions of honest taxpayer dollars. To say that prisoners at Guantanamo get better care than some of his company’s patients is damning with faint praise, indeed.

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