Sunday, October 03, 2004

Guantánamo Detainees

According to a soon-to-be-released book that draws on interviews with military intelligence officials, interrogations of detainees at Guantánamo Bay have not prevented a single terrorist act. A story in today's Guardian cites a recently retired American lieutenant colonel who worked in military intelligence and had access to reports from Guantánamo who says that President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld "wildly exaggerated" the significance of intelligence gained from detainees.

The Guardian story goes on to suggest what is wrong with information gleaned as a consequence of torture--or "harsh interrogations"--citing the cases of British citizens who spent time in Guantánamo:

Earlier this year, three British released detainees, Asif Iqbal, Shafiq Rasul Rhuhel Ahmed, revealed that they had all confessed to meeting bin Laden and Mohamed Atta, leader of the 11 September hijackers, at a camp in Afghanistan in 2000. All had cracked after three months isolated in solitary confinement and interrogation sessions in chains that lasted up to 12 hours daily.

Eventually, MI5 proved what they had said initially - that none had left the UK that year.

The book--Guantánamo: America's War on Human Rights--by British journalist David Rose is due to be released in the U.K. this week and in the United States at the end of November. You can read pre-publication excerpts here and here.