Security Analyst: Hunger-Striking Jihadis Are Manipulative

Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 08:57 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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A new report in The Guardian on detainees staging hunger strikes to protest conditions inside a secretive, U.S.-run prison in Afghanistan should be approached with caution, security analyst Kerry Patton told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

"There is a game of manipulation being played," Patton, an author on U.S. operations in the Middle East, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner. "The jihadis understand better than most of us how to manipulate the laws, how to manipulate people's minds to play a hearts-and-minds campaign of their own."

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The Guardian reported the United States is holding about 40 non-Afghans "in almost complete secrecy" at a facility called Parwan, near the Bagram airfield that used to house war-on-terror captives.

The Parwan detainees went on hunger strikes to protest dirty drinking water, confinement described as "segregated," and a lack of access to the International Committee on the Red Cross, the Guardian reported, citing "multiple sources, as well as firsthand testimony of a former detainee."

"The hunger strikes are reminiscent, on smaller scale, of those at Guantánamo Bay that seized the world's attention last year," according to The Guardian.

Patton said detainee accounts have to be considered suspect.

"When you talk about this detention facility and you talk about different black sites that exist throughout the world, know that the terrorists will do everything in their power to [obscure] what's truly taking place," Patton said. "They want to manipulate people. They want to use the media to their advantage so there can be an outcry … and that's exactly what's taking place right now."

"I can tell you, these people don't have it great," Patton said of detainees, "but they do have it well to the point where they're eating mint ice cream pretty much every single day."

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