Chapter 9: Camps Echo, Iguana and
a "Secret" CIA Installation
- In addition to the main Camp Delta complex - see the map in the book Inside Gitmo - there are three other installations of note: Echo, Iguana, and a formerly "secret" CIA facility known publicly as Camp 7.
- Iguana - Camp "Iggy" to the soldiers - was used to house Uighers, an interesting ethnic minority who were deemed not a threat to the US and were due for transfer. Why couldn't they simply be returned to the People's Republic? Learn the complex story of how US diplomats tried to protect them from reprisal at the hands of PRC authorities - and still drew intense criticism from the international activist community.
- Camp Echo is a different story. Where - in a highly volatile community that includes many sworn jihadists - do you put a self-styled camp leader? Or safeguard a detainee who has been openly cooperative with interrogators, in some cases busting the cover stories of some of the hardest cases inside the wire?
- Camp Echo serves that, among other purposes. Seldom visited by outsiders, and not on the standard media tour, Echo is a place where habeas attorneys meet with detainee clients, where extraordinarily high value detainees are housed, and where the former Detention Group commander frequently met with self-styled detainee leaders in an attempt to work out a system of co-existence that ultimately failed.
- Newly revealed Camp 7 on the other hand, is CIA run and houses an extremely dangerous group of high level al Qaeda leaders transferred to Guantanamo from "secret" camps in third countries, a classified program disclosed by major US media outlets.
- Among the Camp 7 detainees are Khalid Sheik Muhammad, Ramzi bin Alsheb, and other senior al Qaeda leaders. Most of them are high in the queue for war crimes trial, a process that is taking place under the military commission underway at Gitmo.
- Part of the utility of Guantanamo as a detention facility is the possibility of escape or breakout. While never impossible, probability of escape and outside attacks are limited severely by geographical advantages at Gitmo. Learn how one California Senator is "troubled" by escapes and releases from facilities in Yemen and Afghanistan, but remains an outspoken Guantanamo opponent. Then ask yourself if this risk is worth the supposed benefit of relocating these detainees to US soil.
Reprinted end notes from chapter nine of the book, with links to source
and other supporting materials
1. “GWOT Detainee Policy Briefing,” Department of Defense unclassified
handout, July 6, 2005, p. 5. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: this unclassified briefing handout was provided during one of the author's trips to Guantanamo and is not available on the internet. However, information regarding that specific trip and mention of the Detainee Policy Briefing is available at http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/milanalysts/22Mar07/06-F-1532TripVolI.pdf.]
2. Fact sheets, November 2005, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
3. Author interview with DASD Matthew Waxman, December 6, 2005.
6. Author interview with Sandy Chen, China expert, February 2006.
7. Adrienne Lauzon, “The War Against Terror and China’s Treatment of
the Uigher Ethnic Minority,” Marquette University paper. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: this paper is no longer available on the internet.]
8. Author interview, January 2006.
9. R. Jeffrey Smith and Julie Tate, “Uighurs’ Detention Conditions Condemned;
Lawyers’ Complaint Part of Effort to Get Expedited Review,”
Washington Post, Tuesday, January 30, 2007, p. A4.
10. Author interview with Brigadier General John Gong, Deputy Commander
JTF GTMO, January 2006.
11. “Libyan Prisoner at Guantánamo Fears Torture if Repatriated,” Free
Republic, June 16, 2007.
12. Golden, The Battle for Guantánamo.
13. Interview with Army National Guardsman who asked to remain anonymous,
March 29, 2006.
14. Kathy Gannon, “Al Qaeda Fighter Commits Suicide During Escape Attempt,”
Associated Press, January 9, 2002.
15. “Taliban Prisoners Escape in South Afghanistan’s Kandahar,” Xinua,
People’s Daily Online, October 12, 2003. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: the link above retrieves an unformatted HTML file that is almost impossible to read, although you can view the Google cache copy by clicking here.]
16. “Four Escape U.S. Bagram Base,” Associated Press, July 11, 2005.
17. “Seven Taliban Rebels Escape from Afghanistan’s Main High-Security
Prison,” Associated Press, January 24, 2006.
18. “Key Asia Militant ‘Escaped Jail,’ ” BBC News, November 2, 2005. Like
Reuters, the BBC apparently does not know a terrorist when it sees one,
describing them as “militants.”
20. “Seven Taliban Rebels Escape from Afghanistan’s Main High-Security
Prison,” Associated Press, January 24, 2006.
21. Micha Halpern, “Yemen: Al- Qaeda’s Escape Hatch,” Front Page Magazine,
February 7, 2006.
22. Neil Graves, “Cole Fiend Bolts,” New York Post, February 6, 2006. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: this specific article has disappeared from the New York Post website, although the same quote from Barbara Boxer is included in the New York Daily New article "Osama Bigs Bin & Gone in Yemen 13 al Qaeda Thugs Escape from Prison" by Michael McAuliff, which was also published on February 6, 2006.]
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The "Living Book" Concept
The "Living Book" Concept
This companion web site to Inside Gitmo was conceived and executed by Avery Johnson in collaboration with Chuck Martin. As a highly skilled, experienced researcher, Avery imposes strict demands on her work and that of author's with whom she works. Every stated fact must be backed by hard documentation. Hence readers find 524 citations in Inside Gitmo from a multiplicity of sources. Avery took that as "a good start."
Her concept - that you can interact with on these pages - is that with an issue as dynamic and multi-faceted as Guantanamo is too large to be captured only in a work of print. In order to complement and supplement the final work so that readers may continue to be apprised of developments on this critical subject and dig deeper into subjects that interest them, it is necessary and valuable to take advantage of technology.
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I'm a retired Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Vietnam War veteran and career officer, and now a writer. After serving more than thirteen years in East Asia I was sent on assignments in El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and eventually worked Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State.
My many adventures since then have included raising llamas and alpacas in upstate New York, serving as the Executive Director of the Korea Society in Manhattan, working as an international marketing VP for General Electric in Asia, and traveling within corners of the world that few have had the privilege of experiencing.
In April-May 2008 I spent a month embedded with Military Police units in Iraq. Stories from my trip are posted at supportamericansoldiers.com — a book about what I saw and learned is also in the making.
My first book Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin was published in September 2004.
Many of the articles and works referenced in the book Inside Gitmo contain highly controversial, often inflamatory, and frequently inaccurate information. I cited these works for very specific reasons - to extract quotes, show contravailing points of view, and, in cases where factual information is contained in the piece, to use sources that may be intellectually opposed to Guantanamo for balance.
Use of these varied references does not imply that I agree with most, all, or any of the content. They are used for the reasons noted above, and ought to be read in context with the entire book for complete understanding.
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