The Guantánamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices

The Guantánamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices

The Guantánamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices

The Guantánamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices

Synopsis

This book, based on a two-year study of former prisoners of the U.S. government's detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, reveals in graphic detail the cumulative effect of the Bush administration's "war on terror." Scrupulously researched and devoid of rhetoric, the book deepens the story of post-9/11 America and the nation's descent into the netherworld of prisoner abuse. Researchers interviewed more than sixty former Guantánamo detainees in nine countries, as well as key government officials, military experts, former guards, interrogators, lawyers for detainees, and other camp personnel. We hear directly from former detainees as they describe the events surrounding their capture, their years of incarceration, and the myriad difficulties preventing many from resuming a normal life upon returning home. Prepared jointly by researchers with the Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley, and the International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights, The Guantánamo Effect contributes significantly to the debate surrounding the U.S.'s commitment to international law during war time.

Excerpt

This sobering report by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, adds a new chapter to the chronicle of America’s dismal descent into the netherworld of prisoner abuse since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Carefully researched and devoid of rhetoric, it traces the missteps that disfigured an internationally admired nation and tainted its self-proclaimed ideals of humane treatment and justice for all. Through the voices of detainees formerly held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the report provides new insights into the lingering consequences of unjust detention and the corrupted processes developed in the desperate months following 9/11.

In Afghanistan, military codes and international treaties fell victim to the innovative and sometimes bizarre thinking of a small band of Administration officials who needed a place where they could hold detainees indefinitely and beyond the reach of civilian courts. In that place, Guantánamo, men who posed no serious security threat to the United States—estimated by government sources at one-third to onehalf of the total detainee population—suffered equally with Taliban fighters and Al Qaeda terrorists. Effective screening processes to separate the innocent from the dangerous (or even those with vital information relevant to future attacks against the United States) were nonexistent . . .

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