portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts

Children held at Camp Xray, US admits

URGENT/BREAKING: Children held at Camp Xray, US admits
"The children are still being interrogated..."
Last Update: Tuesday, April 22, 2003. 2:14pm (AEST) (Complete)

Children held at Camp Xray, US admits

The US military has revealed it is holding juveniles at its high-security prison for terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, known as Camp Xray.

The commander of the joint task force at Guantanamo, Major General Geoffrey Miller, says more than one child under the age of 16 is at the detention centre. However, Maj Gen Miller has revealed little more about their welfare.

Maj Gen Miller says the US is holding "juvenile enemy combatants" at the centre, confirming rumours of children being held. He has refused to reveal how many there are, their exact ages or their countries of origin.

He says they are being well cared for and are kept in facilities separate to adult prisoners. The children are still being interrogated and will continue to be held at Guantanamo. About 660 prisoners are in the camp.

They have not been tried or convicted of any offence but are being held as part of what the US calls its war on terror.
And the point is ?? 22.Apr.2003 08:36


Enemy combatants can be of any age. Read the Geneva Convention.

Confined in separate facilities away from adult inmates, sounds generous to me. Remember- in combat they were valid targets. Juvenile combatants have the ability to kill too.

No Such Thing 22.Apr.2003 08:54

Read It Yourself

There is no such thing as an "enemy combatant" in the Geneva Convention. If there is any doubt as to a prisoner's status, then they fall under the category of POW, and must not be tortured, killed in prison, or otherwise mistreated.

True, there is no provision regarding age, but there are plenty of children in the US armed forces as well. Heck, the Commander and Election Thief is still one.

RE:Read the Geneva Convention 22.Apr.2003 09:23


If the Geneva Convention were applied to Guantanamo, Rumsfeld would be in prison already.

Parsing 22.Apr.2003 10:03

we use the English language

The term `enemy combatant' has historically referred to all of the citizens of a state with which the Nation is at war, and who are members of the armed force of that enemy state.

According to the international law of war, 'lawful combatants' are soldiers in uniform fighting for their respective militaries, while 'unlawful combatants' are people not in uniform who sneak into the opposing territory to wreak havoc.

'The spy who secretly and without uniform passes the military lines of a belligerent in time of war,' reads the 1942 US Supreme Court decision, 'seeking to gather military information and communicate it to the enemy, or an enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property are familiar examples of belligerents who are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of prisoner of war, but to be offenders against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals.

In 1988, the UN General Assembly referred to 'enemy combatants' in its resolution on how they must be treated under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

I believe you are parsing the term as used in NIMN's post unnecessarily and further, I think that NIMN has used the term correctly. The 'children' described in the original article are indeed 'enemy combatants'.

here's some questions! 22.Apr.2003 10:32

this thing here

what are they doing down there and how long will they be there?

anyone, anyone? yes?

you've got to realize they could be there for 50 to 100 to 1000 years. no legal process is moving down there. they haven't been charged with a crime. they haven't been tried with a crime. therefore, no specific sentence can be handed down. they're just there. forever. well, how long is that? at what point will all these enemy combatants be released for paying their dues if they haven't been given a sentence?

POW's are released at the end of hostilities. but then these men aren't considered prisoners of war. either that, or there is still a war going on in afghanistan that we aren't being told about.


and here's another thing. why were these afghan men, most of whom had probably never set foot outside their country or flown on an airplane, sent all the way to cuba? why aren't iraqi, plain clothes, fedayeen "enemy combatants" (they're not soldiers, in other words) being sent all the way to cuba? what is so fucking special about these 500?, 1000?, 100000? AFGHAN men that they have been given this special treatment? how could these men post that much of a security risk? it really makes me wonder...

this is purely speculation, so take it or leave it, but could it be that these men were former mujahadeen? american armed and american supported? so that's why they're being kept in a specific kind of lockdown, a lock down in which NOTHING at all that could harm the american government's "story" becomes public? whereas, if they were POW's, or just criminals, they might be given trials, and trials always go public? i mean, what the fuck is the deal here?

why THESE specific men being given THIS specific treatment? there's way more men in afghanistan with guns and various beliefs, and who may have shot at american troops, i.e. who could be considered enemy combatants, than are now in cuba. so why these men? this perhaps means the u.s. government has specific intelligence on these men? are they ideological/political/religious leaders? is that why they are being held in such a way that insures they cannot get their message out? there not so much enemy combatant soldiers as they are political prisoners?

remember, this is unprecedented treatment. it hasn't been done in any war or military conflict america has been involved in. it wasn't done in WWI OR II, not in korea, not in vietnam (the place i'd think it would have been), not in grenada, not in panama, not in the first gulf war, and not in the war in iraq. SO WHY IN AFGHANISTAN? WHAT ARE THE QUALIFYING DISTINCTIONS THAT HAVE CREATED THIS UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION?

I wonder if their family knows... 22.Apr.2003 12:18

Juvenile myself

Well, it would be one thing if these kids were like 17 (i think that's how old John Walker Lindh was when they found him). I'm 17 myself and old enough to think and decide things rationally... But these kids souns like there 15 or younger, which is scary. How would you feel if you were 14 and being held in a maximum security prison in a foreign country with no access to your family? I wonder if these kids parents even know where they are or what has happened to them. Assuming that their parents aren't the victims of "smart bombs".