Socialist Worker

Guantanamo files show US horrors

Issue No. 2249

Some 700 leaked US government files about Guantanamo Bay show the brutality and paranoia at the heart of the regime.

The documents show the lengths the US has gone to in order to get confessions at the notorious island prison—using torture, threats, and drafting in interrogators from regimes like Yemen and Morocco.

The files prove that the British government under Tony Blair agreed to be part of rendition flights, even after finding out about the extensive abuse and torture.

They also show how evidence from just two detainees was used to incriminate 126 others. This is despite lawyers and some US officials doubting the validity of their evidence.

The US has released 600 camp detainees, but the camp still holds 172 detainees. Many prisoners have been tortured. Interrogators notes claim that detainees are “employing counter-interrogation techniques”.

Seven people have died in the camp—including some whose treatment led to their death and others who were driven to suicide.

One of them was Yasser Talal al Zahrani. He was a citizen of Saudi Arabia, captured in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo in January 2002.

He died at Guantanamo on 10 June, 2006—aged just 22. According to Guantanamo guards, he hanged himself in his cell. Two others committed suicide the same day.

The files also expose the hypocrisy of US foreign policy.

The US has destroyed Afghanistan, claiming it was a hotbed of terrorism.

But there are many Saudi Arabian citizens in Guantanamo—and the US hasn’t made war on Saudi Arabia, or even stopped its huge arms sales to the country.

The leaked files show the US saw the Pakistan intelligence agency (ISI) as a terrorist organisation, alongside groups such as Al Qaida, Hamas and Hizbollah.

Interrogators were told to regard links to any of these as an indication of terrorist activity.

Yet now the US has bought the public allegiance of the Pakistani government—so it can bomb the border regions with Afghanistan.

US president Barack Obama said in 2009 that he would oversee the closure of Guantanamo within a year.

The continued existence of the prison, the secret CIA detention centres across the world and the widespread use of torture expose the real motivations of the US, Britain and imperialism as a whole.

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Article information

Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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