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Guantánamo Bay Facility

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No More Guantánamos thanks Jeanne Herrick-Stare, creator of TorturesNotUs and now Policy Counsel for the Center for Victims of Torture, for her compilation and analysis of these materials. Reproduced with permission.

1 Apr 2009:  Prof. Mark Denbeaux and his colleagues at Seton Hall University School of Law have published a report, "Who Knew:  An Analysis of the FBI and Department of Defense Reactions to Harsh Interrogations at Guantanamo."  The report details interrogation techniques exposed by public documents produced under FOIA requests.  The report compares the public documentation with a post-Abu Ghraib DOD investigation led by Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt.  The report concludes that Schmidt's investigation about DOD interrogation methods at G'Bay, occasioned by publicity about FBI agents' concerns, was incomplete and misleading.
 
22 Feb 2009:  In response to the president's exec orders for review of detainee circumstances and closure of the G'Bay facility, Adm. Patrick Walsh lead an inspection of the facility. He issued the report, "Review of Department Compliance with President's Executive Order on Detainee Conditions of Confinement," stating generally that conditions of confinement in G'Bay are in conformity with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conv.  The report made a number of recommendations, each with its implication concerning the treatment of detainees at G'Bay, including that the facility increase the human-to-human contact between and among detainees [to decrease debilitating isolation]; that there be additional action to maintain the firewall between intelligence gathering and health care [to stop the use of sensitive psychological and medical information in the interrogation process]; that all interrogations be video recorded [to make transparent any brutal, cruel, or inhuman treatment during interrogations]; and that transfer issues for detainees deemed non-"enemy combatants" by the government be resolved [to combat hopelessness].
  • 23 Feb 2009.  In rebuttal, the Center for Constitution Rights issued its own report, "Current Conditions at Guantanamo; Still in Violation of the Law," calling for the closure of Camps 5 and 6 and Camp Echo.
  • Force-feeding at G'Bay:  Adm. Welsh's report (at p. 56) claims that the military's force-feeding of hunger strikers comports with Common Article 3 (protection of detainees from self-harm) because it follows the U.S. Bureau of Prisons standards. However, testimony by Dr. Scott A. Allen before the Helsinki Commission on 1 July 2008 raises serious issues about the G'Bay protocol:  "The challenge of hunger strikes and the risk of medical complicity in abuse and torture in U.S. detention facilities."  Dr. Allen is Ass't Prof. of Medicine (Clinical) at Brown U., where he is Co-Director of The Center for Prisoner and Health Rights.  He is a medical advisor to Physicians for Human Rights.
 
3 Feb 2009:  One of the (many) difficulties the Obama administration faces in resettlement of G'Bay detainees is presented by Yasim Basardah, described Del Quentin Wilber's Washington Post article, "Detainee-Informer Presents Quandary for Government."
 
22 Jan 2009:  The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a new report, "Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center:  Legal Issues."  CRS reports are regularly utilized by congressional delegations and staffers, and thus are one perspective of what questions will be raised and how legal issues will be framed in discussions on Capitol Hill.
 
22 Jan. 2009:  Pres. Obama signed an executive orders providing for (1) Review and disposition of individuals detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base and closure of detention facilities, ordering closure of the facility within one year; and (2) Review of detention policy options for each detainee.
 
8 Dec 2008:  Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes co-authored a succinct checklist of the major questions to be answered prior to closure of the G'Bay facility:  "Nuts and Deadbolts" (Slate.com).
 
November 2008:  The New York Times has launched an interactive database of G'Bay detainees, including name, nation of citizenship, status (including those transferred), and available personal information about each detainee.
 
November 2008: "Guantanamo Bay and Its Aftermath:  U.S. Detention Practices and Their Impact on former Detainees."  This report, produced in partnership by UC Berkeley and the Center for Constitutional Rights, includes the findings of a study of former detainees who were held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and recommendations for establishing an independent, non-partisan commission to study U.S. intelligence detention.   For an article accompanying the report's release, click here.   
 
August 2008:  "How to Close Guantanamo: Blueprint for the Next Administration," a report from Human Rights First.  HRF lays out specifics for closure of the facility in three phases:  during the next administration's first month, its first six months, and its first year.  
 
25 June 2008:  Ken Gude's report, "Closing Guantanamo," is now available in .pdf form.  The report includes a summary history of the facility, with categorization of its current detainees, and includes Gude's 5-phase plan for its closure.  (A Center for American Progress project.)
 
Washington Post:  Guantanamo Bay Timeline.  Includes links to databases for "All Known Detainees" and "Detainees Charged by Military Commissions," (including further links, e.g. to charging documents), as well as links to further information about significant events and persons named in the timeline and Guantanamo-related processes.  A rich source of information.  
 
May 2008.  Vanity Fair article, "The Green Light" by Philippe Sands, establishing White House and Bush Administration approval of brutal interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay, techniques that demonstrably migrated to Iraq and Abu Ghraib and mirrored the treatment meted out at other  U.S. detention facilities around the world.
 
14 April 2008.  The New Yorker article, "Camp Justice" by Jeffrey Tobin, reviewing the over 5-year history of the G'Bay detention camp, up through its latest transformation into the location of military commission trials.  
 
25 Feb 2008.  Letter signed by 34 national bar associations from all over the world, calling for immediate closing of the Guantanamo Bay facility and repatriation of Omar Khadr, a Canadian imprisoned there for an event that occurred when he was 15 years old.
 
7 Feb 2008.  New report by Prof. Mark Denbeaux and his associates and colleagues at Seton Hall University School of Law.  "Interrogation and Videotaping of Detainees in Guantanamo" includes documentation for the report's premise that more than 24,000 interrogations have been conducted at Guantanamo Bay and that each of them has been videotaped.  Some of the video tapes have been destroyed, as revealed by the military's meticulous records.  See Seton Hall U. press release with summary of the project's findings; note implications for impending 9/11 military tribunal proceedings.
Report on Guantanamo Detainees: "A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data" by Mark Denbeaux, Professor, Seton Hall University School of Law and Joshua Denbeaux, Esq., (counsel to two Guantanamo detainees), et. al.
 
Jan. 2007.  ACLU publication of (redacted) FBI reports and correspondence of interrogation methods and detention conditions at Guantanamo Bay facility.
 
11 July 2005.  Reporter at Large, The New Yorker:  "The Experiment" by Jane Mayer, in which she explores the question:  "The military trains people to withstand interrogation.  Are those methods being misused at Guantanamo?"