The Untried & the Dead: Shalanda Young

In April Real Raw News reported on the arrest of Shalanda Young, a Biden colleague who oversaw the Office of Budget & Management and clandestinely wired $17 billion to PrivatBank, a prominent Ukrainian bank known for laundering copious amounts of criminal cash. Charged with treason and defrauding the United States of America, Young was scheduled to stand trial in May, but as sometimes happens at Guantanamo Bay, she died an unclimactic death weeks before her day in court.

On May 7, Young slipped on a puddle of water outside her cell door, fracturing her skull when she fell backward onto the concrete floor. Her head split like a busted melon. It spilled blood and cero-spinal fluid onto the floor. Her body twitched violently as if in the throes of a grand mal seizure. She soiled herself seconds before she stopped moving.

She was brought to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital and pronounced dead.

Medical staff ruled that Young’s weight contributed to the severity of the fall. They determined the impact to the base of the skull irreparably damaged vital centers in the midbrain and brainstem and that “cerebral hemorrhaging and fracture of the anterior and middle cranial fossa” were primary factors in her death.

A GITMO source told Real Raw News that Vice Adm. Darse E. Crandall lamented Young’s premature demise because he looked forward to prosecuting JAG’s case against her.

A civilian janitor, he added, had been mopping the cell row five minutes before Young, who was not considered a violent offender or an escape risk, was buzzed out of the cell for a meeting with her attorney, who had arrived at GITMO an hour earlier. The janitor had apparently spilled water near Young’s cell and failed to dry the floor.

The janitor and contracted sanitation company were questioned briefly. They were cleared of criminality, having no motive for setting up Young’s fall. The janitor said he had made an innocent but inexcusable mistake. Thus, Young’s death was ruled an accident.

We pressed our source for clarification on GITMO’s seemingly carefree security, as it was the first we’d heard of prisoners leaving cells sans handcuffs and at least two MP guards.

“Look, there’s no excuse. And it’s not something we’re proud of. The military lives on regimentation and SOPs. Young was what you’d call a model inmate. An MP was three feet away from the accident, and if she had run and not smashed her head, she would have bumped into magnetically sealed doors on both ends of the block.”