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Guantanamo Bay detention camp

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Detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray, January 2002

Camp X-Ray, 2002

Camp Delta

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a United States military prison located
within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base,[1] also referred to as Guantánamo or GTMO (/ˈɡɪtmoʊ/),
which is on the coast of Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. Since the inmates have been detained
indefinitely without trial and several inmates were allegedly severely tortured, the operations of
this camp are considered to be a major breach of human rights by Amnesty International.[2]
The camp was established by President George W. Bush's administration in 2002 during the War
on Terror. His successor, President Barack Obama, promised that he would close it, but met
strong bipartisan opposition, with Congress passing laws to prohibit detainees from Guantanamo
being imprisoned in the U.S. During Obama's administration, the number of inmates was
reduced from about 245[3] to 41;[4] most former detainees were freed and transferred to other
countries.[5]In January 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the
prison camp open indefinitely.
Creation and history[edit]
At the time of its establishment in January 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the
prison camp was established to detain extraordinarily dangerous people, to interrogate detainees
in an optimal setting, and to prosecute detainees for war crimes.[6] In practice, the site has long
been used for indefinite detention without trial.[2]
The Department of Defense at first kept secret the identity of the individuals held in Guantanamo,
but, after losing attempts to defy a Freedom of Information Act request from the Associated
Press, the U.S. military officially acknowledged holding 779 prisoners in the camp.[7] The facility is
operated by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) of the United States government in
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.[8] Detention areas consisted of Camp Delta including Camp
Echo, Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray, which is now closed.[9]
After Bush political appointees at the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel, Department of
Justice advised the Bush administration that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp could be
considered outside U.S. legal jurisdiction, military guards took the first twenty detainees
to Guantanamo on 11 January 2002. The Bush administration asserted that detainees were not
entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. Ensuing U.S. Supreme
Court decisions since 2004 have determined otherwise and that the courts have jurisdiction: it
ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on 29 June 2006, that detainees were entitled to the minimal
protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.[10] Following this, on 7
July 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that detainees would, in
the future, be entitled to protection under Common Article 3.[11][12]
Current and former detainees have reported abuse and torture, which the Bush administration
denied. In a 2005 Amnesty International report, the facility was called the "Gulag of our
times."[13] In 2006, the United Nations demanded unsuccessfully for the Guantanamo Bay
detention camp to be closed.[14] In January 2009, Susan J. Crawford, appointed by Bush to
review DoD practices used at Guantanamo Bay and oversee the military trials, became the first
Bush administration official to concede that torture occurred at Guantanamo Bay on one
On 22 January 2009, President Obama issued a request to suspend proceedings
at Guantanamo military commission for 120 days and to shut down the detention facility that
year.[16][17] On 29 January 2009, a military judge at Guantanamo rejected the White House request
in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, creating an unexpected challenge for the administration
as it reviewed how the United States brings Guantanamo detainees to trial.[18] On 20 May 2009,
the United States Senate passed an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009
(H.R. 2346) by a 90–6 vote to block funds needed for the transfer or release of prisoners held at
the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[19] President Obama issued a Presidential
memorandum dated 15 December 2009, ordering Thomson Correctional Center, Thomson,
Illinois to be prepared to accept transferred Guantanamo prisoners.[20]
The Final Report of the Guantanamo Review Task Force, dated 22 January 2010, published the
results for the 240 detainees subject to the review: 36 were the subject of active cases or
investigations; 30 detainees from Yemen were designated for "conditional detention" due to the
poor security environment in Yemen; 126 detainees were approved for transfer; 48 detainees
were determined "too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution".[21]
On 6 January 2011, President Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, which, in part,
placed restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the mainland or to foreign
countries, thus impeding the closure of the facility.[22] In February 2011, U.S. Secretary of
Defense Robert Gates said that Guantanamo Bay was unlikely to be closed, due to opposition in
the Congress.[23] Congress particularly opposed moving prisoners to facilities in the United States
for detention or trial.[23] In April 2011, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to
prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[24]
On 4 November 2015, President Barack Obama stated that he was preparing to unveil a plan to
close the facility and move some of the terrorism suspects held there to U.S. soil. The plan would
propose one or more prisons from a working list that includes facilities in Kansas, Colorado and
South Carolina. Two others that were on the list, in California and Washington state, do not
appear to have made the preliminary cut, according to a senior administration official familiar with
the proposal.[25]
By 19 January 2017, however, the detention center remained open, with 41 detainees


A Camp Delta recreation and exercise area in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The detention block is shown with
sunshades drawn on 3 December 2002

Camp Delta is a 612-unit detention center finished in April 2002. It includes detention camps 1
through to 6, as well as Camp Echo, where pre-commissions are held.[26]
Camp X-Ray was a temporary detention facility, which was closed in April 2002. Its prisoners
were transferred to Camp Delta.
In 2008, the Associated Press reported Camp 7, a separate facility on the naval base that is
considered the highest security jail on the base, and its location is classified.[27] It is used to house
high-security detainees formerly held by the CIA.
In January 2010, Scott Horton published an article in Harper's Magazine describing "Camp No",
a black site about a mile outside the main camp perimeter, which included an interrogation
center. His description was based on accounts by four guards who had served at Guantanamo.
They said prisoners were taken one at a time to the camp, where they were believed to be
interrogated. He believes that the three detainees that DoD announced as having committed
suicide were questioned under torture the night of their deaths.
From 2003 to 2006, the CIA operated a small site, known informally as "Penny Lane," to house
prisoners whom the agency attempted to recruit as spies against Al-Qaeda. The housing at
Penny Lane was less sparse by the standards of Guantanamo Bay, with private kitchens,
showers, televisions, and beds with mattresses. The camp was divided into eight units. Its
existence was revealed to the Associated Press in 2013.[28]

Main article: List of Guantanamo Bay detainees
Since January 2002, 779 men have been brought to Guantanamo.[29][30] Nearly 200 were released
by mid-2004, before there had been any CSRTs (Combatant Status Review Tribunal) to review
whether individuals were rightfully held as enemy combatants.[clarification needed][31] Of all detainees at
Guantanamo, Afghans were the largest group (29 percent), followed by Saudi Arabians (17
percent), Yemenis (15 percent), Pakistanis (9 percent), and Algerians (3 percent). Overall, 50
nationalities were present at Guantanamo.[32]
Although the Bush administration said most of the men had been captured fighting in
Afghanistan, a 2006 report prepared by the Center for Policy and Research at Seton Hall
University Law School reviewed DoD data for the remaining 517 men in 2005 and "established
that over 80% of the prisoners were captured not by Americans on the battlefield but
by Pakistanis and Afghans, often in exchange for bounty payments."[33] The U.S. widely
distributed leaflets in the region and offered $5,000 per prisoner. One example is Adel Noori, a
Chinese Uighur and dissident who had been sold to the US by Pakistani bounty hunters.[34]
Top Department of Defense (DoD) officials often referred to these prisoners as the "worst of the
worst", but a 2003 memo by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said "We need to stop
populating Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) with low-level enemy combatants... GTMO needs to serve
as an [redacted] not a prison for Afghanistan."[35] The Center for Policy and Research's 2006
report, based on DoD released data, found that most detainees were low-level offenders who
were not affiliated with organizations on U.S. terrorist lists.
Eight men have died in the prison camp; DoD has said that six were suicides. DoD reported
three men, two Saudis and a Yemeni, had committed suicide on 10 June 2006. Government
accounts, including an NCIS report released with redactions in August 2008, have been
questioned by the press, the detainees' families, the Saudi government, former detainees, and
human rights groups.[citation needed]

Adnan Farhan Abd Al Latif, one of the eight detainees who died in the prison camp.

An estimated 17 to 22 minors under the age of 18 were detained at Guantánamo Bay, and it has
been claimed that this is in violation of international law. According to Chaplain Kent Svendsen
who served as chaplain for the detention centers from 2004 - 2005 there were no minor
detainees at the site upon starting his assignment in early 2004. He said: "I was given a tour of
the camp and it was explained to me that minors were segregated from the general public and
processed to be returned to their families. The camp had long been emptied and closed when I
arrived at my duty station".[36][37]
In July 2005, 242 detainees were moved out of Guantanamo, including 173 who were released
without charge. Sixty-nine prisoners were transferred to the custody of governments of other
countries, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.[38]
The Center for Constitutional Rights has prepared biographies of some of the prisoners currently
being held in Guantanamo Prison.[39]
By May 2011, 600 detainees had been released.[31] Most of the men were released without
charges or transferred to facilities in their home countries. According to former U.S.
president Jimmy Carter, about half were cleared for release, yet had little prospect of ever
obtaining their freedom.[40]
As of June 2013, 46 detainees (in addition to two who were deceased) were designated to be
detained indefinitely, because the government said the prisoners were too dangerous to transfer
and there was insufficient admissible evidence to try them.[41]
It has been reported that prisoners cooperating with interrogations have been rewarded
with Happy Meals from the McDonald's on base.[42]
High-value prisoners[edit]
In September 2006, President Bush announced that fourteen "high-value detainees" were to be
transferred to military custody of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp from civilian custody by
the CIA. He admitted that these suspects had been held in CIA secret prisons overseas, known
as black sites. These people include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, believed to be the No. 3 Al-
Qaeda leader before he was captured in Pakistan in 2003; Ramzi bin al-Shibh, an alleged would-
be 11 September 2001 hijacker; and Abu Zubaydah, who was believed to be a link
between Osama bin Laden and many Al-Qaeda cells, who were captured in Pakistan in March
2002.[43] Zubaydah has since been found to be a low-level participant of little value.
None of the 14 top figures transferred to Guantánamo from CIA custody had been charged with
any war crime.[44] In 2011, human rights groups and journalists found that some of these
prisoners had been taken to other locations, including in Europe, and interrogated under torture
in the U.S. extraordinary rendition program before arriving at Guantanamo.[45][46]
On 11 February 2008, The U.S. military charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-
Shibh, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ali Abd Al-Aziz Ali and Walid bin Attash of committing
the September 11 attacks under the military commission system, as established under
the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA).[47] In Boumediene v. Bush (2008), the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled that the MCA was unconstitutional.
On 5 February 2009, charges against Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri were dropped without
prejudice after an order by Obama to suspend trials for 120 days.[48] Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri was
accused of renting a small boat connected with the USS Cole bombing. He is one of the
detainees known to have been interrogated with waterboarding prior to his transfer to
Guantanamo.[citation needed]

Post-Bush statements[edit]
In 2010, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a former aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stated in
an affidavit that top U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick
Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, had known that the majority of the
detainees initially sent to Guantánamo were innocent, but that the detainees had been kept there
for reasons of political expedience.[49][50] Wilkerson's statement was submitted in connection with a
lawsuit filed in federal district court by former detainee Adel Hassan Hamad against the United
States government and several individual officials.[51] This supports numerous claims made by
former detainees like Moazzam Begg, a British citizen who had been held for three years in
detention camps in Afghanistan and Guantanamo.[52]

Guantanamo detainees pray in the recreation area.

A 2013 Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) report concluded that health professionals
working with the military and intelligence services "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane
and degrading treatment and torture of detainees". Medical professionals were ordered to ignore
ethical standards during involvement in abusive interrogation, including monitoring of vital signs
under stress-inducing procedures. They used medical information for interrogation purposes and
participated in force-feeding of hunger strikers, in violation of World Medical
Association and American Medical Association prohibitions.[53][54][55][56][57]
Supporters of controversial techniques have declared that certain protections of the Third
Geneva Convention do not apply to Al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters, claiming that the Convention
only applies to military personnel and guerrillas who are part of a chain of command, wear
distinctive insignia, bear arms openly, and abide by the rules of war. Jim Phillips of The Heritage
Foundation has said that "some of these terrorists who are not recognized as soldiers don't
deserve to be treated as soldiers."[58] Critics of U.S. policy, such as George Monbiot, claimed the
government had violated the Conventions in attempting to create a distinction between
"prisoners of war" and "illegal combatants."[59][60]Amnesty International has called the situation "a
human rights scandal" in a series of reports.[61]
One of the allegations of abuse at the camp is the abuse of the religion of the
detainees.[62][63][64][65][66][67] The U.S. government has claimed that it respects all religious and cultural
sensitivities. Prisoners released from the camp have alleged incidents of abuse of religion
including flushing the Quran down the toilet, defacing the Quran, writing comments and remarks
on the Quran, tearing pages out of the Quran and denying detainees a copy of the Quran. One of
the justifications offered for the continued detention of Mesut Sen, during his Administrative
Review Board hearing, was:[68]
"Emerging as a leader, the detainee has been leading the detainees around him in
prayer. The detainees listen to him speak and follow his actions during prayer."
Red Cross inspectors and released detainees have alleged acts of
torture,[69][70] including sleep deprivation, beatings and locking in confined and cold cells.
The use of Guantánamo Bay as a military prison has drawn criticism from human rights
organizations and others, who cite reports that detainees have been tortured[71] or otherwise
poorly treated. Supporters of the detention argue that trial review of detentions has never
been afforded to prisoners of war, and that it is reasonable for enemy combatants to be
detained until the cessation of hostilities.

Detainee complaints[edit]

Prisoners play soccer (undated photo taken and published by the U.S. military)

Interview with Ruhal Ahmed by Laura Poitras in 2010

Three British Muslim prisoners, known in the media at the time as the "Tipton Three",
were repatriated to the United Kingdom in March 2004, where officials immediately released
them without charge. The three have alleged ongoing torture, sexual degradation, forced
drugging and religious persecution being committed by U.S. forces at Guantánamo
Bay.[72][73] The former Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezaliwas freed without charge on 9
July 2004, after two and a half years internment. Ghezali has claimed that he was the victim
of repeated torture. Omar Deghayesalleges he was blinded by pepper spray during his
detention.[74] Juma Al Dossaryclaims he was interrogated hundreds of times, beaten, tortured
with broken glass, barbed wire, burning cigarettes, and sexual assaults.[75] David Hicks also
made allegations of torture[76][77][78] and mistreatment in Guantánamo Bay, including sensory
deprivation, stress positions,[79] having his head slammed into concrete, repeated anal
penetration, routine sleep deprivation[77] and forced drug injections.[80][81][82][83]
An Associated Press report claims that some detainees were turned over to the U.S.
by Afghan tribesmen in return for cash bounties.[84] The first Denbeaux study, published
by Seton Hall University Law School, reproduces copies of several leaflets, flyers and
posters the U.S. government distributed to advertise the bounty program; some of which
offered bounties of "millions of dollars."[85]
Hunger-striking detainees claimed that guards were force feeding them in the fall of 2005:
"Detainees said large feeding tubes were forcibly shoved up their noses and down into their
stomachs, with guards using the same tubes from one patient to another. The detainees say
no sedatives were provided during these procedures, which they allege took place in front of
U.S. physicians, including the head of the prison hospital."[86][87] "A hunger striking detainee at
Guantánamo Bay wants a judge to order the removal of his feeding tube so he can be
allowed to die, one of his lawyers has said."[88] Within a few weeks, the Department of
Defense "extended an invitation to United Nations Special Rapporteurs to visit detention
facilities at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station."[89][90] This was rejected by the U.N. because of
the DoD restrictions: "that [the] three human rights officials invited to Guantánamo Bay
wouldn't be allowed to conduct private interviews" with prisoners.[91] Simultaneously, the
media reports began related to the question of prisoner treatment.[92][93][94] District Court
Judge Gladys Kessler also ordered the U.S. government to give medical records going back
a week before such feedings take place.[95] In early November 2005, the U.S. suddenly
accelerated, for unknown reasons, the rate of prisoner release, but this was not
In 2005, it was reported that sexual methods were allegedly used by female interrogators to
break Muslim prisoners.[100] In a leaked 2007 cable, a State Department official requested an
interview of a released Libyan national complaining of an arm disability and tooth loss that
happened during his detention and interrogations.[101]
In May 2013, detainees undertook a widespread hunger strike; they were subsequently
being force fed until the U.S. Government stopped releasing hunger strike information, due
to its having "no operational purpose"[102]. During the month of Ramadan that year, the US
military claimed that the amount of detainees on hunger strike had dropped from 106 to 81.
However, according to defense attorney Clive Stafford Smith, "The military are cheating on
the numbers as usual. Some detainees are taking a token amount of food as part of the
traditional breaking of the fast at the end of each day in Ramadan, so that is now
conveniently allowing them to be counted as not striking."[103] In 2014, the Obama
administration undertook a "rebranding effort" by referring to the hunger strikes as "long term
non-religious fasting."[104]

Suicides and suicide attempts[edit]

Main article: Guantanamo Bay detention camp suicide attempts
By May 2011, there had been at least six suicides in Guantánamo that have been
During August 2003, there were 23 suicide attempts. The U.S. officials did not say why they
had not previously reported the incident.[106]After this event, the Pentagon reclassified
suicides as "manipulative self-injurious behaviors"; camp physicians alleged that detainees
do not genuinely wish to end their lives.[107][108] Guantanamo Bay officials have reported 41
unsuccessful suicide attempts by 25 detainees since the U.S. began taking prisoners to the
base in January 2002.[109] Defense lawyers contend the number of suicide attempts is

Reported suicides of June 2006[edit]

Main article: Guantanamo Bay homicide accusations
On 10 June 2006 three detainees were found dead, who, according to the Pentagon, "killed
themselves in an apparent suicide pact."[110]Prison commander Rear Admiral Harry
Harris claimed this was not an act of desperation, despite prisoners' pleas to the contrary,
but rather "an act of asymmetric warfare committed against us."[109][111][112] At the time, human
rights groups called for an independent public inquiry into the deaths.[113] Amnesty
International said the apparent suicides "are the tragic results of years of arbitrary and
indefinite detention" and called the prison "an indictment" of the George W. Bush
administration's human rights record.[109] Saudi Arabia's state-sponsored Saudi Human Rights
group blamed the U.S. for the deaths. "There are no independent monitors at the detention
camp so it is easy to pin the crime on the prisoners... it's possible they were tortured," said
Mufleh al-Qahtani, the group's deputy director, in a statement to the local Al-
Riyadh newspaper.[109]
Main article: Saudi detainees at Guantanamo Bay

Highly disturbed about the deaths of its citizens under U.S. custody, the Saudi government
pressed the United States to release its citizens into its custody. From June 2006 through
2007, the U.S. released 93 detainees (of an original 133 Saudis detained) to the Saudi
Arabian government. The Saudi government developed a re-integration program including
religious education, helping arrange marriages and jobs, to bring detainees back to
Main article: Guantanamo Bay homicide accusations

The Center for Policy and Research published Death in Camp Delta (2009), its analysis of
the NCIS report, noting many inconsistencies in the government account and said the
conclusion of suicide by hanging in their cells was not supported.[115][116] It suggested that
camp administration officials had either been grossly negligent or were participating in a
cover-up of the deaths.[33]
In January 2010 Scott Horton published an article in Harper's Magazine disputing the
government's findings and suggesting the three died of accidental manslaughter following
torture. His account was based on the testimony of four members of the Military Intelligence
unit assigned to guard Camp Delta, including a decorated non-commissioned Army officer
who was on duty as sergeant of the guard the night of 9–10 June 2006. Their account
contradicts the report published by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Horton
said the deaths had occurred at a black site, known as "Camp No", outside the perimeter of
the camp.[117][118][119][120][121] According to its spokeswoman Laura Sweeney, the Department of
Justice has disputed certain facts contained in the article about the soldiers' account.[113]

See also: Enhanced interrogation
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) inspected the camp in June 2004. In a
confidential report issued in July 2004 and leaked to The New York Times in November
2004, Red Cross inspectors accused the U.S. military of using "humiliating acts, solitary
confinement, temperature extremes, and use of forced positions" against prisoners. The
inspectors concluded that "the construction of such a system, whose stated purpose is the
production of intelligence, cannot be considered other than an intentional system of cruel,
unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture." The United States government
reportedly rejected the Red Cross findings at the time.[122][123][124]
On 30 November 2004, The New York Times published excerpts from an internal memo
leaked from the U.S. administration,[122] referring to a report from the International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC reports of several activities that, it said, were
"tantamount to torture": exposure to loud noise or music, prolonged extreme temperatures,
or beatings. It also reported that a Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT), also
called 'Biscuit,' and military physicians communicated confidential medical information to the
interrogation teams (weaknesses, phobias, etc.), resulting in the prisoners losing confidence
in their medical care.
The ICRC's access to the base was conditioned, as is normal for ICRC humanitarian
operations, on the confidentiality of their report. Following leaking of the U.S. memo, some in
the ICRC wanted to make their report public or confront the U.S. administration. The
newspaper said the administration and the Pentagon had seen the ICRC report in July 2004
but rejected its findings.[125][123] The story was originally reported in several newspapers,
including The Guardian,[126] and the ICRC reacted to the article when the report was leaked in
According to a 21 June 2005 New York Times opinion article,[127] on 29 July 2004, an FBI
agent was quoted as saying, "On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a
detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water.
Most times, they had urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18, 24
hours or more." Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who headed the probe into FBI accounts
of abuse of Guantánamo prisoners by Defense Department personnel, concluded the man (a
Saudi, described as the "20th hijacker") was subjected to "abusive and degrading treatment"
by "the cumulative effect of creative, persistent and lengthy interrogations."[128] The
techniques used were authorized by the Pentagon, he said.[128]
Many of the released prisoners have complained of enduring beatings, sleep deprivation,
prolonged constraint in uncomfortable positions, prolonged hooding, sexual and cultural
humiliation, forced injections, and other physical and psychological mistreatment during their
detention in Camp Delta.
In 2004 Army Specialist Sean Baker, a soldier posing as a prisoner during training exercises
at the camp, was beaten so severely that he suffered a brain injury and seizures.[129] In June
2004, The New York Times reported that of the nearly 600 detainees, not more than two
dozen were closely linked to al-Qaeda and that only very limited information could have been
received from questionings. In 2006 the only top terrorist was reportedly Mohammed al
Qahtani from Saudi Arabia, who is believed to have planned to participate in the September
11 attacks in 2001.[130]
Mohammed al-Qahtani, nicknamed the "20th hijacker of 9/11" was refused entry at Orlando
International Airport, which stopped him from his plan to take part in the 9/11 attacks. During
his Guantánamo interrogations, he was given 3 1/2 bags IV fluid, then he was forbidden to
use the toilet, forcing him to soil himself. Some accounts of the treatment he received are as
follows: Water is poured over the detainee. Interrogations start at Midnight, and last 12
hours. When he fell asleep, he was woken up by American pop music and water. Female
personnel tried to humiliate and upset him, which was successful. A military dog was used to
intimidate him. The soldiers played the American anthem and forced him to salute. They
stuck pictures of 9/11 victims to him. He was forced to bark like a dog and his beard and hair
were shaved. He was stripped nude. Fake menstrual blood was smeared on him and he was
forced to wear a bra. Some of the abuses were documented in 2005, when the Interrogation
Log of al-Qathani "Detainee 063" was partially published.[131][132][133]
The Washington Post, in an 8 May 2004 article, described a set of interrogation techniques
approved for use in interrogating alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. Kenneth Roth,
executive director of Human Rights Watch, characterized them as cruel and inhumane
treatment illegal under the U.S. Constitution.[134] On 15 June, Brigadier General Janis
Karpinski, commander at Abu Ghraib in Iraq during the prisoner abuse scandal, said she was
told from the top to treat detainees like dogs "as it is done in Guantánamo [Camp Delta]."
The former commander of Camp X-Ray, Geoffrey Miller, had led the inquiry into the alleged
abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq during the Allied occupation. Ex-detainees of the
Guantanamo Camp have made serious allegations, including alleging Geoffrey Miller's
complicity in abuse at Camp X-Ray.
In "Whose God Rules?" David McColgin, a defense attorney for Guantanamo detainees,
recounts how a female government interrogator told Muslim detainees she was
menstruating, "slipped her hand into her pants and pulled it out with a red liquid smeared on
it meant to look like menstrual blood. The detainee screamed at the top of his lungs, began
shaking, sobbing, and yanked his arms against his handcuffs. The interrogator explained to
[the detainee] that he would now feel too dirty to pray and that she would have the guards
turn off the water in his cell so he would not be able to wash the red substance off. 'What do
you think your brothers will think of you in the morning when they see an American woman's
menstrual blood on your face?' she said as she left the cell." These acts, as well as
interrogators desecrating the Holy Quran, led the detainees to riots and mass suicide
The BBC published a leaked FBI email from December 2003, which said that the Defense
Department interrogators at Guantánamo had impersonated FBI agents while using "torture
techniques" on a detainee.[136]
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in June 2005, Dick Cheney defended the treatment of
prisoners at Guantánamo:
There isn't any other nation in the world that would treat people who were determined to kill
Americans the way we're treating these people. They're living in the tropics. They're well fed.
They've got everything they could possibly want.[137]
Main article: Periodic Report of the United States of America to the United Nations
Committee Against Torture
The United States government, through the State Department, makes periodic reports to the
United Nations Committee Against Torture. In October 2005, the report covered pretrial
detention of suspects in the "War on Terrorism", including those held in Guantánamo Bay.
This Periodic Report is significant as the first official response of the U.S. government to
allegations that prisoners are mistreated in Guantánamo Bay. The report denies the
allegations but describes in detail several instances of misconduct, which did not rise to the
level of "substantial abuse," as well as the training and punishments given to the
perpetrators.[citation needed]
Writing in The New York Times on 24 June 2012, former President Jimmy Carter criticized
the methods used to obtain confessions: "...some of the few being tried (only in military
courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with
semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers. These facts
cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred
under the cover of 'national security'".[40]