Guantanamo Bay detention camp

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A US military base now used primarily as a torture camp due to its obscure legal jurisdiction. After campaigning in 2009 on promises to shut it down within a year, in 2014 Barack Obama announced plans to expand it.

Place.png Guantanamo Bay detention campRdf-icon.png
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Subpage(s)Guantanamo Bay detention camp/Periodic Review Board
Guantanamo Bay detention camp/Prisoners' appeals in Washington courts

In January 2002, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the prison camp was established to detain extraordinarily dangerous prisoners, to interrogate prisoners in an optimal setting. This may refer to the exceptional legal status of the camp, which is on the island of Cuba; policies of torture and kidnapping on US territory would very likely provoke legal challenges under state law. As of 2014, the entire prison is composed of around 2,200 military and civilian personnel, who monitor around 150 terrorists.[1]

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War on terror

Full article: Rated 4/5 “War on terror”

As part of the "war on terror", the US government sought to promote violent Islamic terrorism.[2] More or less open torture established that old legal precedents need not apply, while naturally stirring up violent opposition and hatred amongst terrorising the populations subject to it (e.g. Muslim populations in Middle East). Torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay was used a source of false evidence which was cited (with appropriate censorship on grounds of "national security") as post hoc justification for anti-terrorism measures and the continued ramping up of the "war on terror". For example, the 9/11 Commission Report's claim that Al Qaida "did it", which widely cited evidence derived from torture.

Closure promise

US President Barack Obama promised to shut the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within the year.[1] On 20 May 2009, the United States Senate passed an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2346) by a 90–6 vote to block funds needed for the transfer or release of prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[3]

On 7 January 2011, President Obama signed the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which, in part, placed restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the mainland or to foreign countries, thus effectively preventing the closure of the facility.[4]

Murder Allegations

Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman, on guard at Camp Delta on the night of June 9, 2006 alleged in his 2015 book Murder at Camp Delta that three prisoners were murdered by the CIA. The US government's official narrative is that all three committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells.


In May 2014 the US Congress allocated $69 million for a new secret jail at Guantanamo Bay to hold a small number of former CIA prisoners.[1]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Guantanamo SOP Confirms Psychological Torturearticle17 November 2007Stephen Soldz
Julian Assange
Standard operating procedures for military personnel running the Guatanamo Bay military prison confirm that the rules governing the treatment of its inmates amounts to systematic torture
Two letters from Guantanamoletter14 February 2014Emad Abdalla Hassan
Shaker Aamer
Two letters from Shaker Aamer and Emad Hassan sent on the ocassion of the 12th anniversary of the establishment of America's extra-judicial hell-hole at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba..


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