Experts Deliver Damning Testimony at Guantánamo Force-Feeding Trial

8.10.14

For an update on October 9, see below.

This week, a historic and unprecedented trial has been taking place in Washington D.C., as lawyers for Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian prisoner at Guantánamo, have been challenging the government’s claimed legality for force-feeding prisoners.

Mr. Dhiab has been a frequent hunger striker for the last seven years, and weighs just 152 pounds, despite being six feet five inches tall. Last February, he took part in a hunger strike that involved up to two-thirds of the remaining prisoners, who were in despair at ever being released or given justice, and he has continued his hunger strike, even though throughout this period he has been subjected to painful force-feeding. He is one of 75 of the remaining 149 prisoners who were approved for release by a government task force in 2009 — and four others have had their release approved this year through another review process, the Periodic Review Boards. He is also in a wheelchair as a result of his physical decline during his 12 years in US custody.

Last summer, Mr. Dhiab challenged the legality of his force-feeding in court, and, as I explained in an article on Sunday, in May, after some to-ing and fro-ing, Judge Gladys Kessler, in the District Court in Washington D.C., “briefly ordered the government to stop force-feeding Mr. Dhiab. This order was swiftly rescinded, as Judge Kessler feared for his life, but she also ordered videotapes of his ‘forcible cell extractions’ (FCEs) and his force-feeding to be made available to his lawyers.”

As I also explained, at the end of last week Judge Kessler delivered a powerful order prohibiting the government from holding a secret hearing in Mr. Dhiab’s case, which I wrote about here, and followed up with an even more powerful order calling on the government to prepare for public release eleven hours of videotapes showing Mr. Dhiab being dragged from his cell and force-fed.

On Monday, the trial began, with Mr. Dhiab’s lawyers making their case, which, as the Guardian explained, involves Mr. Dhiab seeking “an injunction to make the feedings less painful and to end the forced cell removals.” The lawyers also called on two expert witnesses, Dr. Sondra Crosby of Boston University and Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist and a retired Brigadier General in the US Army. Both witnesses had recently visited Mr. Dhiab at Guantánamo, and their powerful declarations can be found here and here.

In court, as the Guardian explained, Mr. Dhiab’s lawyers argued that the force-feeding at Guantánamo is “a method of punishment, not the medically viable procedure the government has long claimed,” something that documents obtained through FOIA legislation by Jason Leopold demonstrated on the first day of the trial.

One of Mr. Dhiab’s attorneys, Eric Lewis, said of his client’s hunger strike, “It’s a cry of humanity from a person who feels he has no choice left. Mr. Dhiab does not want to die, he wants to be treated like a human being.”

Lewis also held a 110cm force-feeding tube before Judge Kessler, telling her how the Guantánamo authorities “unnecessarily strapped him in a ‘five-point restraint’ chair and repeatedly inserted and removed the feeding tube, part of a ‘get-tough strategy to shut down the hunger strike.'” Lewis also cited a comment by Guantánamo’s recently retired warden, Army Col. John Bogdan, who was in charge when the prison-wide hunger strike began, and who said that the cell extractions and the feeding of hunger strikers “‘incentivized’ compliant behavior.”

The Miami Herald also reported Eric Lewis’ description of Dhiab’s force-feeding, which was powerful. He said, “He has been dragged out of his cell, trussed up like an animal, secured tightly to what the detainees universally called ‘the torture chair,’ had a 110-centimeter tube shoved up his nose, force-fed in the chair, then had the tube pulled out, forced from the chair to the ground and then carried back to his cell, put face down on a cement floor, the restraints removed with guards straddling his injured back.”

Noting how his medical records — obtained through an order by Judge Kessler — “show that his wheelchair, back brace and even his boxer shorts were ordered removed by Guantánamo medical personnel,” Dr. Crosby told the court, “It looks like medical care is being withheld because of disciplinary status and that should never happen. It feels punitive.”

Dr. Crosby also testified that Mr. Dhiab “believes Guantánamo guards have forcibly removed him from his cell more than 1,300 times,” a procedure which, he has stated, is “painful and abusive,” much “like the force-feedings themselves.”

In contrast, Justice Department attorney Andrew Warden, who has been working on Guantánamo issues since the Bush administration, and has had significant influence over the visits of lawyers for the prisoners throughout that time, claimed that force feeding is not a “painful procedure” and, as the Guardian put it, “is necessary for keeping Dhiab from serious injury or death.” He also defended the use of restraints and violent cell extractions “to prevent harm to guards and medical staff” from Mr. Dhiab, who, he said, had “kicked” Guantánamo staff and thrown bodily fluids at them, and had also used “abusive language” — hardly a powerful argument for the violence to which Mr. Dhiab has repeatedly been subjected.

In his testimony, Stephen Xenakis, responding to a claim by another Justice Department lawyer, Ronald Wiltsie, that Col. Bogdan had said that the restraint chair was “padded, comfortable and felt like a normal chair,” said that Bogdan was fit and able to do physical exercise, whereas Mr. Dhiab was not, and that what was important was that the prison authorities need to offer “individualized” care to patients like Mr. Dhiab to “get him in the best possible health so he can be transferred” (Mr. Dhiab, his lawyers and his supporters are all hoping that an offer by Uruguay to give him a new home, as he cannot be safely repatriated, will happen in the near future).

As Reprieve — whose lawyers Cori Crider and Alka Pradhan also represent Mr. Dhiab — noted in a press release, Stephen Xenakis also told the court that Mr. Dhiab “poses no realistic threat to guards at the prison and that if treated well could feasibly be force-fed in a single-point restraint chair rather than the five-point restraint chair currently being used.” He also testified that “the ‘forcible cell extractions’ make it impossible for the detainees to have a constructive relationship with those force-feeding them.”

Both Stephen Xenakis and Sondra Crosby also addressed Mr. Dhiab’s mental health. Responding to statements that he suspects that Jinns, or spirits, are a source of his pain, Crosby recommended that he should not be treated by the prison’s medical staff and should, instead, “receive an independent multi-discipline medical team to treat his ‘complex case,’ which she suspected might include some ‘psychosomatic’ illness,” as the Miami Herald described it.

Xenakis added, “He knows that when he’s in pain there’s a psychological dimension to it,” and also said that the Jinns were “a metaphor for his undiagnosed illnesses.”

On Tuesday, a third expert witness, Dr. Steven Miles, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Minnesota, testified, following up on his declaration, available here. He questioned “whether the force feeding was medically necessary,” as the Guardian put it, calling it “a form of punishment” and “an abuse of a prisoner for the purpose of a punitive regime,” and also revisited the use of olive oil for lubricating the feeding tubes at Guantánamo, which, as he first pointed out in a declaration in June (reported by Jason Leopold in July), “can cause a form of chronic inflammatory pneumonia,” in the Guardian‘s words.

In June, Dr. Miles stated, “The decision to use olive oil is a remarkable instance of negligent medical care in reckless disregard of standard medical practice which was defined to minimize risks,” adding, “The fact that olive oil is listed … as a routinely used lubricant suggests that other prisoners, including [Hassan and Dhiab], have been placed at risk of lipoid pneumonia.”

As a result, the military stopped using olive oil at Guantánamo, but it is difficult to know the extent of the damage already done. In court on Tuesday, Dr. Miles stated that if olive oil “reach[ed] the lungs due to misplaced insertions, [it] would be hard to detect by physicians for released or transferred detainees, as it might look on x-rays like tuberculosis or lung cancer.” He called the use of olive oil as a lubricant “astonishing to me,” and said of his analysis, “There’s simply no debate about this. All the medical literature I’ve found said the [lubrication] had to be water-soluble. One doesn’t have to make very many salads to know olive oil is not water soluble.”

Dr. Miles also took exception to the confirmation, provided in Mr. Dhiab’s medical records, that Guantánamo’s Joint Medical Group would “sometimes have force-feeding sessions occur multiple times a day,” which, he said, “increased the risk of harm and infection to a patient.” He “recommended that the tubes remain in place for several weeks at a stretch to minimize risk” to a prisoner, and he also decried the practice of strapping force-fed prisoners into a “five-point restraint chair,” in which their head and limbs are all tied down. Dr. Miles said, “It’s a form of punishment that is wrapped around the business” of force feeding.

Refuting Justice Department claims about the need for restraints because of the dangers posed by prisoners, which were submitted by the attorney Patrick Davis, Dr. Miles said that “in 20 years of working in hospitals with proximity to gang activity, I’ve never had to do that.”

Dr. Miles also took exception to claims made by Guantánamo personnel and Justice Department officials that prisoners are only force fed when their hunger striking poses “a major health risk.” As the Guardian described it, he “questioned the metrics used at Guantánamo for determining that threshold, saying they overly relied on body weight, to the exclusion of iron levels, calcium levels and red blood cell size, which he testified provide more precise measurements of malnutrition-related dangers.”

In response, Patrick Davis and Andrew Warden “sharply rejected the claim of frivolous force feeding,” as the government began to present its own case on Tuesday, although they drew only on “unnamed Guantánamo medical staff,” who apparently “said weight loss was one factor among several determining the necessity of the feeding, although it was the most detailed of the government’s public criteria.”

It was not only on this point that the Justice Department failed to call witnesses. Its entire case was presented without witnesses, involving, instead, declarations by Guantánamo personnel, which, as the Guardian put it, “means Guantánamo detention and medical officials will neither be subjected to cross-examination nor have to testify under oath” — a sure sign, it seems me, of the weakness of the government’s case.

As Cori Crider, one of Mr. Dhiab’s lawyers at Reprieve, stated after Tuesday’s hearing, “Three medical experts have now testified that there is something rotten at the core of Guantánamo — treatment of hunger strikers is not proper medical care but a punitive strategy to try to break them.”

UPDATE October 9: Over three hours of the third and final day of the trial, yesterday, involved a closed session in which the legal teams and the judge watched and discussed the videotapes of Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s violent cell extractions and his force-feeding. Spencer Ackerman in the Guardian wrote that, as the lawyers emerged from the closed session, “attorneys for Dhiab said they watched the reaction of their Justice Department adversaries,” and one of them, Jon Eisenberg said, “I just had to wonder: what are they thinking?”

This is a valid question, and over the last few days I have repeatedly wondered, as I have for many years, why Justice Department lawyers in the civil division — the division that deals with Guantanamo — so aggressively pursue every possibility to keep everyone in Guantanamo and to defend brutal treatment and a lack of accountability.

Even more than this, however, I wonder why President Obama seems never to have shown an interest in the civil division lawyers working on Guantanamo, and, even more pertinently, why Eric Holder never showed any interest either — never showing any sign of thinking that perhaps aggressive Bush-era lawyers like Andrew Warden should not be allowed to continue in the same job, and never apparently suggesting that an overview of the lawyers’ role would be useful, so that, for example, the recommendations made by President Obama’s Guantanamo Review Task Force were cross-referenced with the prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions. Instead, what happened over and over again was that the Justice Department challenged the habeas petitions of prisoners recommended for release, instead of not contesting them. The only exception was in 2013, in the case of Ibrahim Idris, a Sudanese man who was severely mentally and physically ill, and who was released in December (see here, here and here).

We now have to wait and see what happens on two fronts — the release of the videotapes of Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s violent cell extractions and force-feeding, which Judge Kessler ordered last week; and the outcome of this week’s trial.

I expect the government will appeal the order to release the videotapes, although I haven’t heard anything about a challenge yet, and I would hope that, with Judge Kessler accepting that the tapes can be edited to remove any possibility of identifying anyone apart from Mr. Dhiab, there are no credible grounds for a government appeal to be successful. I really do believe that the release of the videotapes could be hugely significant, because, to my sorrow as a writer, I realize how images — and moving images — can have a much greater impact than words alone.

On the outcome of the trial, a ruling is probably many weeks away. As the Guardian noted, Judge Kessler “requested closing arguments to be submitted as briefs, not orally in court, by 17 October,” so a ruling will occur sometime after that.

As the Guardian also noted, “Dhiab may not remain at Guantánamo for the outcome of his challenge. He is awaiting a transfer for resettlement in Uruguay, the result of a diplomatic brokerage reached in the spring.” To my mind, it would make sense for the Obama administration to try and get him out of Guantanamo as soon as possible. However, I have thought that for many months, since Judge Kessler’s first endorsement of Mr. Dhiab’s legal challenges back in May, but he was not freed, and in the meantime the Uruguay deal seems to have cooled.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer and film-maker. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

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14 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Zarina Bhatia wrote:

    In spite of Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s’s such a frail condition why on earth is he not released, I ask.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s a great question, Zarina. I suppose, to be charitable to the Obama administration, the problem is that, when he was approved for release in 2009, he was one of many dozens of men who couldn’t be safely repatriated, and who needed third countries to offer them new homes. Then the offers started to dry up, and then Congress started making it difficult for Obama to release prisoners.
    However, that explanation ignores the fact that, in May 2009, Obama dropped a plan, formulated by the senior White House lawyer Greg Craig, to bring some prisoners who couldn’t be repatriated to live in the US, which he did because he feared Republican opposition. That, in turn, made it more difficult to get other countries to take men when the US conspicuously wouldn’t do it.
    When Congress, for largely cynical reasons, started to make it difficult to release prisoners, from the end of 2010 onwards, Obama again backed down, even though there was a waiver in the legislation that allowed him to bypass Congress if he was prepared to declare that it was in the national security interests of the US to do so – which it clearly was. Unfortunately, he wasn’t prepared to spend the political capital to do so, fearing, yet again, that it would play into the hands of his Republican critics.
    This year, when President Mujica of Uruguay agreed to take six prisoners, including Abu Wa’el, it seems that the problem was Chuck Hagel, who took his time signing the certification that, by law, must be given to Congress before any planned release from Guantanamo. By the time that happened, the Uruguayans got cold feet, and now no one seems to know when it will happen.
    It is all such a horrible mess, which is what happens when idiots like Bush and Cheney break the law so disgracefully. Unfortunately, the outcome is not abstract, and the victims are the men like Abu Wa’el who are held in limbo at Guantanamo with no end to their suffering in sight …

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Zarina Bhatia wrote:

    Andy, I know as a journalist you are updating me about this victim of gross injustice, being done to Abu Wa’el Dhiab. I know you, along with many others like me are livid that he withers away, is force-fed that must be a sheer agony, and the so-called but savage ‘democratic’ state of USA does nothing to save his life. In fact, there is deliberate delay in simply performing bureaucratic tasks like signing, indeed they even refuse to have him rehabilitated on their soil. He is not a leper! They all are war-criminals, I blame Obama most for not closing down this damned place, Guantanamo Bay that he boasted about when he was installed. These perpetrators and torturers have no right to do this to any human beings, and we won’t let this matter rest. Their apathy and excuses are intolerable. Let Abu and all those on hunger strike be free, NOW.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, fundamentally I agree, Zarina. All their excuses are unacceptable because of the monstrous lawlessness and cruelty of Guantanamo. Imagine if someone was holding Americans in exactly the same sort of set-up …

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Zarina Bhatia wrote:

    Will USA, Israel and their cronies ever learn what Human Rights are! Your point about their lawlessness and cruelty at Guantanamo, indeed dumping people there is Enough for us to be spectators of their macabre rule. We are not their subjects but Citizens of the world living on this earth they can not claim as theirs, so they should learn decency.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    And the cruelty – as well as being appalling in and of itself – is also counter-productive, Zarina, as it creates further hostility in response.
    Decency is very much required, but it seems to be severely endangered.

  7. Jeff Kaye says...

    No need to wonder why Obama/Holder seemed to approve of the actions of the government’s Gitmo attys… it’s because that is their policy, too. The abomination that is Guantanamo is the tip of an iceberg for a government that has operated or condoned the torture of many tens if not hundreds of thousands in my lifetime. Such a government has no morality. Morality is for the people in the cheap seats, played out in moralistic melodramas for the crackerjack crowd.

    These are deeply evil men. They may love their wives, pet dogs, and cry at funerals, but — in the words of RJ Lifton, who examined the case of the Nazi doctors — in their work their psyches are “doubled”. IOW, they live dual lifes. Regular “folks” at home, and at work, monsters.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the comments, Jeff. I actually think the specific answer regarding the lack of oversight of the Justice Department’s civil division is partly that much of the function of government is business as usual, regardless of which party is in power, and partly to do with delegating responsibilities, and with laziness. So Obama delegated decisions about the remaining prisoners to his task force, and then accepted their conclusions, and no one was pointing out to either him or Eric Holder that the DoJ should be looking at the task force’s decisions.
    That said, I might be wrong, and, moreover, I certainly believe that our leaders generally demonstrate an appetite for war and killing that is psychologically troubling, although I largely believe that Obama isn’t the worst example on this score, his bigger problem being that he’s largely letting the Pentagon and the military industrial complex do the driving. In my mind I see him as a kind of Sammy Davis Jr figure, sipping a cocktail with the guys in the Rat Pack in the golf clubhouse. I tend to believe the New York Times article from a few years ago that portrayed him as establishing a “kill list” because he felt he narrowly escaped a terrorist attack, and accepting what he was told – that anyone of military age in a drone strike could – and should – be seen as a legitimate target – which has helped him sleep at night.
    From my own experience here in the UK, the most dangerous warmonger of recent years was Tony Blair who clearly got off on his murderous impulses, and while Cameron is not motivated the same way – and is, more than anything else, a mouthpiece for whatever his advisers tell him will work rather than an obviously unpleasant individual (even though I can’t stand the way he talks to us as though we are all children with learning difficulties) – his cabinet contains many people I regard as evil not for their warmongering, but for their obsessive disdain for those less fortunate than themselves – another example, I think, of your description of power-seekers being “[r]egular ‘folks’ at home, and at work, monsters.”

  9. the talking dog says...

    Alas, Judge Kessler’s courageous ruling will likely not be issued until after the mid-term elections– as if it would matter, anyway (other than evidently to the Obama Admin.) And we can assume that the government will promptly appeal anything requiring disclosure of anything “embarrassing” (because, of course, evidence of abusive treatment of debilitated, emaciated men would, in the current environment, be “embarrassing” rather than “war crimes.”) The ultimate question –which remains to be seen– is if the sickening images do make it into the public sphere, will– maybe even can— enough of my countrymen be moved from their usual state of passive ennui even to feel a tinge of compassion– let alone outrage. Obviously, the Obama Admin. fears this to be the case… I have to wonder, though.

    Still and all, I think both you and Jeff Kaye have excellently highlighted the issue of the dirty little secret of “Civil” Division attorneys of the Department of “Justice.” To muddle Hanna Arendt’s observation a bit, we are watching the evil of banality.

    As a former Justice Dept. attorney myself (way back in the Reagan Admin.), I can only say that the attorneys in DOJ now (many of whom, btw, were there not only through Bush, but through Clinton, and some of them back further still) probably at least believe themselves to be honorably doing their jobs of representing their client agency, in this case, the Defense Dept. That said, they certainly have the discretion to at least ask not to be assigned cases such as Guantanamo habeas responsive work, if they don’t want it. Indeed, my recollection is that some years ago, DOH put out an agency wide call for its attorneys from all of its divisions and units– not just the “Civil” Division– to volunteer for this mission. Hence, those “Civil” Div. attorneys undertaking it are certainly Holder’s Willing Execution Followers [to paraphrase Daniel Goldhagen], just as they previously willingly followed Ashcroft/Gonzales/Mukasey, on what Jeff properly notes were identical legal positions to those taken now.

    I understand that Mr. Warden in particular does seem to take a special relish in the representation of the most egregious governmental positions (such as those expressed during Dhiab’s hearing), but he is hardly alone there.

    Another interesting observation derived from the couple of times I’ve actually watched habeas arguments (either at trial or appellate level), was how ultimately rote the government’s presentation was: it was as if the script read something like “9-11, 9-11, 9-11, courageous American service personnel, yada yada, fill in detainee’s name, is now properly detained because we say so,” and there was simply no concern (or as it turned, out, under the helpful precedents of the D.C. Circuit, need) for anything remotely “individualized.” And so, it should come as no surprise that there is no “individualized” medical attention during force-feeding (which I must note as always, during Ramadan months, only takes place at night). There is no individualized attention because the entire American system is based on the premise that the detainees at GTMO– indeed, anyone, any time, foreign or domestic, who needs to be demonized for any reason– is not an individual at all, but some kind of cartoon character. The zeitgeist is entirely consistent.

    And so, circling back to banality and evil, one can assume that, just as Bybee and Yoo received a whitewashing of their records of war crimes from the “Justice” Dept., I would guess that advancing the most egregious positions associated with whatever the “war on terror” is now called is probably simply a good career move, which probably explains the enthusiasm for doing so.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Great to hear from you, TD, though what a great shame, seven years after we first got to know each other during your phone interview with me in September 2007, that it continues to be in relation to the ongoing, seemingly endless injustice of Guantanamo.
    First off, I must say that “the evil of banality” looks to be a perfect expression of what is actually being done by those who are “just doing their jobs” in the everyday criminality of the post-9/11 US government. I’m not sure if Andrew Warden fits in that category, or if he’s a little too committed for that description, but you capture perfectly, I think, the career path of those who have willingly signed up to serve – regardless of whether that service leads into areas that anyone even vaguely sensitive would regard as profoundly disturbing. But as you say, these people deliver 9/11 hyperbole by rote, so perhaps they even believe it.
    I very much hope that we will see the release of the videos, but part of me worries that they won’t even generate more than a ripple of disquiet amongst the American people, as though the disgust and disgrace of April 2004, and the Abu Ghraib photos, is ancient history, from a time before people, for the most part, shut down completely. And to pursue your comparisons, I wonder what we are supposed to do if, when a government that tries to pass off war crimes as embarrassment gets exposed, the revelations are almost completely ignored. What do we call a situation in which what ought to cause profound disgust and shame is met only with indifference?
    I fear for the direction in which we’re heading, not just from my study of the US over the last eight and a half years, but also from seeing what’s happening here in the UK too, where, it seems to me, compassion is steadily being wiped out, to be replaced, at best, by a kind of numbness, and at worst by bigotry and the celebration of stupidity.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    So yesterday Judge Kessler issued a ruling regarding the release of the videotapes, ordering that “on or before Friday, October 17, 2014, the Government shall complete the previously ordered redactions” to the videotapes of Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s forcible cell extractions and force-feeding, now apparently numbering 32 in total, and also ordering that “on or before Monday, October 20, 2014, Press Applicants and the Government shall submit a Joint Proposal regarding how the videotapes can be made available to the public most efficiently.”
    The order is here: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1311615/2014-10-09-kessler-order-re-timeline-for.pdf

  12. Nancy Pace says...

    Thank you for your humanitarian efforts, Mr. Worthington. Perhaps this is too wild a suggestion: Could some of the detainees be released to the NSA or the CIA to work with/among them? If their ongoing perspectives were sincerely solicited and if they were treated with genuine respect, wouldn’t they and we recognize that their insights on current events are valuable? Governments on all sides of all wars often lack perspective into the minds of their adversaries. I’m not talking interrogation, of course. I’m suggesting that the detainees (in lieu of prison, and in hope of eventual release) might be persuaded that, given access to the news, in whatever language they read in, hopefully English, would recognize that their views on changing and emerging issues and events might be valuable in achieving mutual goals, such as peace, and be treated as such. I’m sure security issues could be worked out. Just something to think about. Thank you again for your efforts on their behalf. – Nancy Pace

  13. Nancy Pace says...

    BTW, I am thinking, above, of a non-Guantanamo residence, say in D.C., where they live comfortably.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Interesting thoughts, Nancy. You know, one of the many depressing things about the “war on terror” is how prisoners regarded as cooperative have not necessarily been treated well. Some prisoners who cooperated were released. See here, for example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/02/AR2009020203337.html
    However, others are still held despite having apparently been very cooperative, which, of course, sends a message to the rest of the world that it doesn’t make sense to cooperate with the US – or to voluntarily offer information about terrorism, for example – because you’re likely to find yourself imprisoned without due process. Here’s a story from 2010 about two cooperative prisoners who are still held: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/24/AR2010032403135.html

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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