Guantanamo attorney found dead in apparent suicide

Detainees at Camp X-Ray sit in a holding area with Naval Base Guantanamo Bay military police during intake on Jan. 11, 2002. Camp X-Ray is now an abandoned area. US DoD photo.

Jason Leopold at Truthout reports that an attorney who represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay, where a mass hunger strike is ongoing, was found dead last week in what sources said was a suicide:

Andy P. Hart, 38, a federal public defender in Toledo, Ohio, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Hart left behind a suicide note and a thumb drive, believed to contain his case files. It is unknown where Hart died, what the suicide note said or whether an autopsy was performed.

Read the rest. Hart leaves behind a daughter, 11 years old.


  1. sorry for screaming (caps) but this is an horrible stain on your country

    1. If there’s no such thing as society, then luckily there’s no such thing as this country either.

  2. A spokesman for Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader and one of the leading opponents of closing the prison, said on Tuesday that “there is wide, bipartisan opposition in Congress to the president’s goal of moving those terrorists to American cities and towns.”

    Why can’t the Republicans get it through their heads that you’re not allowed to call people terrorists until you’ve given them a trial?!!

    1. Exactly. Considering all but one small batch said to be about 40 out of 160, none of these guys would ever be in any jail because the case would be thrown the fuck out.

      1. Examples of things that President Obama could do TODAY, or could have done at any time in the PAST FOUR YEARS:

        – Order the commanders at Gitmo to move the prisoners into communal living spaces.

        – Cease all activities that have anything to do with searches, restraints, or other “prisoner-like” treatment.

        – Allow shipments from the prisoners’ friends and families, including clothes, reading and writing materials, computers, and sat phones.

        – Allow visits from friends and families of the prisoners.

        Congress has theoretically tied his hands as to the legal status of the prisoners (and even this is debatable, as there are exceptions that he could invoke by executive order,) but make no mistake:  Gitmo is run under the Executive Branch, and  President Obama is in the direct chain of command of everyone who wears a uniform there, and is the employer of everyone who is a contractor there.  He could pick up the phone and make sweeping changes RIGHT NOW.  It might be fun to blame Bush for everything you don’t like about this country, but right now Bush has no more authority in Gitmo than I do.

        1.  Did you not read my other comments?

          Obama: you should’ve closed Gitmo like you fucking promised.

          Bush set up Gitmo and authorised everything that happened there. My comment wasn’t suggesting Bush could do anything about it now, but it was his hare-brained scheme to set the place up for prisoners of the war on terror and we should not forget that.

          I thought celebrating the death of Thatcher was in bad taste but I am going to have the party of a motherfucking lifetime the day that brain-dead old fool kicks it.

  3. This is too fucking fucked up. And so sad.  That a guy with such a young daughter, could be driven to such despair.  My heart aches. 

  4. RIP Mr. Hart.

    Obama: you should’ve closed Gitmo like you fucking promised. If you did this likely wouldn’t have happened.

    1. I don’t see that he could have.  The American voters didn’t give him a Congress that will work with him.

      1.  And even the ones who tried either were shut out by other districts who voted this in that wouldn’t work, or state legislatures that gerrymander the ever living fuck out of districts so the same types always get elected.

  5. It’s important to note, at the end of the piece, that:
    Recently, it was announced Hart’s entire office would face furloughs as part of the sequestration.

    1. Flight delays of a couple of hours: unacceptable to Congress.

      Indefinite delays of justice: supported by Congress

  6. At Guantanamo, there are prisoners on hunger strikes. Some of them have been placed on feeding tubes to keep them alive. I imagine they must be strapped to tables in this case, to keep them from removing the feeding tubes.

    I wish the world could see photos of that scene – a nice reminder that whatever the prisoners are, they are also human.

    1. They are definitely strapped down.  Not too long ago boingboing linked to a a letter by one of the prisoners explaining the treatment.  If we had to witness this treatment of people day in and day out I think many of us would understand what drove Mr. Hart to kill himself.

        1. Makes you think, that if the DoD or whoever is in charge of them is so determined to treat them as revenge fetish toys, it might be preferable if they could just nut up and kill them.

          1. Yeah, but you only get to kill a man once. You can waterboard him on the hour, every hour.

          2. I can understand why they wouldn’t kill the detainees, but it’s really hard for me to understand why they would go to such lengths to prevent the detainees from killing themselves.  It can’t be because they care about them as people.

            This struck me a while ago when I read about how in water boarding many detainees started giving up and letting themselves drown.  Imagine what horror you would have to endure before your body would actually stop gasping for air, being content to die instead.  If you are going to do that to someone, the least you could do for them is let them choose to stop breathing themselves.

      1. Of course, we don’t know what his note said, or anything about his life (other than that he has a daughter) so we absolutely cannot “understand what drove Mr. Hart to kill himself.” All implications to the contrary, it is possible (maybe even likely) that a P.D. in Toledo who represented Guantanamo detainees killed himself for entirely different reasons.

        1. A very fair point, I certainly don’t think there are simple dots to connect here.

      2. And this kind of force-feeding is against international human rights law, which I only found out yesterday I must admit…

        Oh well, as we know, international law only applies to Balkan baddies, Latin strongmen, and African tough guys. Even (U.S. backed/trained) genocidal maniacs can face justice as we can follow with Xeni’s reporting, but Western leaders? Nah…

        1. Right. And to think that so many Western countries got rid of their royals! Seems they actually didn’t.

      3. I heard someone with experience say on Democracy Now! today that the feeding tube feels like having a razor blade shoved up your nose then down you throat.

  7. apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the back of the head….

    j/k or……

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