Selling Guantánamo: Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Military Prison

Selling Guantánamo: Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Military Prison

Selling Guantánamo: Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Military Prison

Selling Guantánamo: Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Military Prison

Synopsis

Challenges the U.S. government's official explanation for keeping hundreds of POWs from the War in Afghanistan in continued custody at Guantanamo.

Excerpt

In January 2002, twenty men were selected from a much larger population of prisoners because they seemed unusual to their American captors. They were transported to the far side of the planet and delivered to a tropical island that would seem, if not for the electrified fences and the heavily armed military personnel, like paradise. the prisoners were exhibited to junketing politicians, diplomats, and other elites. Even the press was given a glimpse of the shackled men in orange jumpsuits. Over the course of months and years, the military base in the southeastern corner of the island transformed into a prison camp housing approximately seven hundred captives. the men, some just boys, were subjected to a range of sophisticated physical and psychological tortures, held incommunicado and indefinitely. Today they are still threatened with prosecution, yet denied minimal due-process rights.

That much of the story is familiar.

The Bush administration’s decision to imprison some seven hundred of the tens of thousands of prisoners captured in the war in Afghanistan at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base is not unprecedented. Although rarely, other liberal democratic governments have also held and mistreated populations of exceptional captives in spectacular isolation. Nevertheless, the Guantánamo decision is extraordinary and thus commands close analysis because it is a perfect “anti-scandal.” Political scandals reveal hidden wrongdoing by politicians or their staff members to the public, which then joins rival politicians or opposition parties in moral condemnation of the wrongful acts. Anti-scandals, by contrast, involve proclamations of what would normally be . . .

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