More Arrivals At Camp X-Ray

The Brady Bunch
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Investigators were trying to pin down which Afghan war captives fought for the Taliban and which belonged to al Qaeda as 34 new arrivals received blankets, toothbrushes and Qurans for their indefinite stay at this remote Navy base.

Monday's new arrivals brought the camp's total to 254 detainees. Eight of the 34 were put into increased security postures shortly after they arrived but there were no major incidents, Marine Corps Public Affairs officer Maj. Stephen Cox said.

The men normally stand with their feet and hands shackled. The increased security posture forces the detainees onto their sides with their knees to their chests. Talking or not responding to orders after three tries can prompt officials to force the position, Cox said.

None of the new arrivals appeared to have any injuries or health problems besides dehydration, Cox said.

None of the captives, who are being held in small outdoor cells at Guantanamo Bay, has yet been charged. They are being interrogated, but no decision has been announced on whether any might be subjected to military tribunals authorized by President Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on America.

Civilian and military investigators have been questioning the prisoners since Jan. 23.

Slamming what he called "international hyper-ventilation" over U.S. treatment of the captives, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday defended Bush's refusal to designate them prisoners of war.

He said the military was giving proper treatment to the Taliban fighters and al Qaeda guerrillas held at Camp X-Ray and more than 200 others held in Afghanistan despite criticism that they were not getting due rights under the Geneva Convention.

"Notwithstanding the isolated pockets of international hyper-ventilation, we do not treat the detainees in any manner other than a manner that is humane," Rumsfeld told reporters.

Foreign nations, including close U.S. allies like Britain and Germany, have expressed misgivings about the Guantanamo Bay captives after the Pentagon initially released a photograph showing some of them manacled, blindfolded and on their knees as they were being transferred from an aircraft to their outdoor jail cells in Guantanamo.

Mr. Bush last week moved to ease growing criticism of U.S. handling of the captives, deciding to apply the Geneva Convention to the Taliban fighters but not members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda guerrilla network.

But he steadfastly refused to designate any of the captives "prisoners of war," which would give them special treatment under the convention.

Cox said the detainees are from 26 different countries. They include about 50 Saudis, 30 Yemenis, 25 Pakistanis, eight Algerians, three Britons and small numbers from Australia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Russia and Sweden.

Afghans, who formed the ousted Taliban regime that harbored al Qaeda while ruling Afghanistan, have not been mentioned as part of the lot.

Cox said Sunday there were more prioners whose affiliations were "in limbo" than there were those claiming to be Taliban and al Qaeda.

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