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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States imprisoned more than 750 men at its naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The detainees, ranging from teenagers to elderly men from over forty different countries, were held for years without charges, trial, or a fair hearing. Without any legal status or protection, they were truly outside the law: imprisoned in secret, denied communication with their families, and subjected to extreme isolation, physical and mental abuse, and, in some instances, torture. These are the detainees' stories, told by their lawyers because the prisoners themselves were silenced. It took lawyers who had filed habeas corpus petitions over two years to finally gain the right to visit and talk to their clients at Guantánamo. Even then, lawyers worked under severe restrictions, designed to inhibit communication and maximize secrecy. Eventually, however, lawyers did meet with their clients. This book contains over 100 personal narratives from attorneys who have represented detainees held at Guantánamo as well as at other overseas prisons, from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to secret CIA jails or "black sites."
The U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay has become the symbol of an unprecedented detention system of global reach and immense power. Since the 9/11 attacks, the news has on an almost daily basis headlined stories of prisoners held indefinitely at Guantánamo without charge or trial, many of whom have been interrogated in violation of restrictions on torture and other abuse. These individuals, once labeled “enemy combatants” to eliminate legal restrictions on their treatment, have in numerous instances been subject to lawless renditions between prisons around the world. The lines between law enforcement and military action; crime and war; and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of power have become dangerously blurred, and it is time to unpack the evolution and trajectory of these detentions to devise policies that restore the rule of law and due process. Obama’s Guantánamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison describes President Obama’s failure to close America’s enduring offshore detention center, as he had promised to do within his first year in office, and the costs of that failure for those imprisoned there. Like its predecessor, Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law, Obama’s Guantánamo consists of accounts from lawyers who have not only represented detainees, but also served as their main connection to the outside world. Their stories provide us with an accessible explanation of the forces at work in the detentions and place detainees’ stories in the larger context of America’s submission to fearmongering. These stories demonstrate all that is wrong with the prison and the importance of maintaining a commitment to human rights even in times of insecurity.
Examines the rise of an American-run global detention system, including Guantâanamo Bay, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and secret CIA jails, and discusses efforts that are being made to challenge this new prison system through habeas corpus.
Challenges the U.S. government's official explanation for keeping hundreds of POWs from the War in Afghanistan in continued custody at Guantanamo.
An unprecedented international publishing event: the first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee. Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered released by a federal judge, the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir---terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, GUANTÁNAMO DIARY is a document of immense historical importance.
The U.S. military detention center at Guantánamo Bay—known to the public as Gitmo—has been called the American Gulag, a scene of medieval horrors where innocent farmers and goat herders swept up in Afghanistan and Iraq have been sequestered, tortured, and abused for years on end without access to legal counsel or basic medical services. Gordon Cucullu, a retired army colonel, was so appalled by these reports that he decided to see for himself. In a series of visits he inspected every corner of the camp and interviewed dozens of personnel, from guards and interrogators to cooks and nurses. The result—coming just as the Obama administration wants to close the facility—is a riveting description of daily life for both prisoners and guards. Cucullu describes the six camps reserved for different levels of compliance, details the treatment of prisoners, and examines their experiences in detail, including the techniques used to interrogate them, the food they eat, their medical care, how they communicate with one another, and the many ingenious ways they contrive to assault and injure their guards. While some prisoners were indeed treated harshly in the early days, when the hastily built camp was flooded with battlefield captures and fears ran high of another 9/11-style attack, Cucullu finds that these excesses were quickly corrected. Current treatment and oversight routines exceed the standards of any maximum-security prison in the world. Despite what the public has heard, these are not innocent goatherds but dedicated jihadists whose overriding goal—as they themselves candidly say—is to kill Americans. Should they now be released to return to the fight, perhaps on American soil? Read this book and decide for yourself.
Mahvish Khan is an American lawyer, born to immigrant Afghan parents in Michigan. Outraged that her country was illegally imprisoning people at Guantanamo, she volunteered to translate for the prisoners. She spoke their language, understood their customs, and brought them Starbucks chai, the closest available drink to the kind of tea they would drink at home. And they quickly befriended her, offering fatherly advice as well as a uniquely personal insight into their plight, and that of their families thousands of miles away. For Mahvish Khan the experience was a validation of her Afghan heritage - as well as her American freedoms, which allowed her to intervene at Guantanamo purely out of her sense that it was the right thing to do. Mahvish Khan's story is a challenging, brave, and essential test of who she is - and who we are.

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