07/11/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gitmo Detainees: Records Document "Shocking" Weight Loss

When most people talk about the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, the focus is usually on what a beauty queen-endorsed demi-paradise it is. Or the awesome health care the inmates receive, through Hillarycare. Or the "two types of fruit" they get to eat, as if they were rich libertines. Or the one free colonoscopy they receive, because why not, that sounds like a real perk. But you know what too often goes unsaid about Gitmo? The way they've been totally starving the detainees, half to death.

But you can read more about it, in a report authored by Andy Worthington, titled "Guantanamo's Hidden History: Shocking Statistics Of Starvation." But here's the salient findings:

In March 2007, the Pentagon released a series of documents, "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba," which recorded, in numbing detail, the prisoners' weights, from the date of their arrival and, in general, at monthly intervals thereafter until December 2006, when these particular records come to an end. In the cases of prisoners on hunger strike, the weights were recorded at weekly intervals, and, in some cases, on a daily basis.

Unnoticed at the time of their release, these documents have not, until now, been analyzed in depth, but after conducting a comprehensive review of the documents I can reveal that the results demonstrate the extent to which the Pentagon's prohibition on releasing any photos of the prisoners has enabled it to disguise a truly shocking fact: throughout Guantánamo's history, one in ten of the total population -- 80 prisoners in total -- weighed, at some point, less than 112 pounds (eight stone, or 50 kg), and 20 of these prisoners weighed less than 98 pounds (seven stone, or 44 kg).

Well, no wonder those colonoscopies are so inexpensive!

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