Preface and Introduction
- On November 5, 2008 the American people voted to elect Barak Obama as president of the United States.
- As senator and president-elect, Obama and his spokespersons have consistently called for closure of the Guantanamo facility. He is expected by many to make that decision early in his administration, perhaps on Inauguration Day.
- While closure of the facility sounds easy, there are serious implications to the move that must be thoughtfully considered prior to carrying out that decision.
- One of the purposes of this book – and the companion website – is to provide a well-documented compilation of those issues and offer a discussion for rational debate.
- Issues such as where to detain if not at Guantanamo, should these men be detained at all, should they be repatriated to countries of origin, might they be released in the U.S., and, most troubling, should they be detained indefinitely if they cannot be brought to trial, are some of the problems that are discussed in the book.
- Readers see the inside story of what was one of the bad days at Guantanamo. In late May 2006 three detainees attempted suicide by overdosing on pharmaceutical drugs. Following the attempt the entire Camp Delta was searched for other contraband. During the search detainees in Camp IV “acted up” and attempted to ambush guards.
- The story of how the uprising was put down without loss of life.
- How I came to be interested in Guantanamo.
- My first visit on a Defense Department media tour.
- Why I chose to write this book. Essentially as a former military officer I was appalled by stories emerging from Guantanamo and wanted to learn the truth myself, and to share those facts with the American public.
- To understand Guantanamo it is necessary to examine the parts of the issue: legal, detention, background of detainees, interrogation, medical, food, international image, and much more. I took the challenge of examining these various concerns and discussing them.
- What I learned: the good, bad, and ugly, and how abuse happened and Guantanamo and what corrective steps were taken.
Reprinted end notes from the preface and introduction with links to
and other supporting materials
1. Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: The War We Need to Win, Washington, DC, delivered August 1, 2007.
2. Mark Appuzo and Laura Jakes Jordan, "Obama Planning US Trials for Guantanamo Detainees," Associated Press, November 10, 2008. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: the reporters names are spelled Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes Jordan.]
Guantanamo: Myth and Reality
1. Details of this incident are compiled by extensive author observations and interviews with personnel involved: guards, commanders, and medical, escort, and civilian support.
2. In War Inside the Wire: You Can Handle the Truth about Guantnamo Bay (Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2006), James Taranto reported
that guards found stockpiled prescription drugs hidden “around the toilet
area” and “inside the bindings of the Holy Quran.”
3. A Joint Task Force Guantnamo memorandum titled Camp Delta Interim SOP Modification: Inspecting/Handling Detainee Korans Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was issued January 19, 2003, detailing rules for handling Korans. Also see Department of Defense, Guantanamo Procedures on Handling Koran / Inspecting/Handling Detainee Korans Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), May 11, 2005, available on the Internet at http://tirana.usembassy.gov/press20050523.html.
4. More than 440 incidents between guards and prisoners from December 2002 through summer 2005 alone were reported in response to a 2006 Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Landmark Legal Foundation. The reports confirm that Male guards are frequently derided as donkeys while female guards are routinely called bitches or harassed by references to their breasts or genitalia In all, nearly a quarter of incidents involved female guards, the reports show (quoted from John Solomon, Gitmo Guards Often Attacked by Detainees, Associated Press, July 31, 2006).
5. This is a pseudonym. The actual Navy ensign requested that his name not be used. "I don't care if they come after me," he said, "but I want to protect my family from these bastards." Such is a common, shared concern among those who work inside the wire. Standard operational procedure is for name tags to be covered with black tape or to read the job position. Santoss name tag read OIC, Camp IV.
6. For additional descriptions of the various camps, facilities, and detainee living conditions within Guantnamo Bay, please see Detainee Living Conditions section of the Joint Task Force Guantnamo Mission webpage, available on the Internet at http://www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil/mission.html [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: that webpage has now been moved to http://www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil/about.html#living].
7. Deroy Murdock, Terror Camp, National Review, August 8, 2006.
8. Wall Street Journal reporter James Taranto noted that the detainees who quietly retreated to their bunks during the riot later became the sole residents of Camp 4 (from War Inside the Wire: You can handle the truth about Guantanamo Bay, September 16, 2006).
9. National Criminal Justice Reference Service, “Impact of Oleoresin Capsicum
Spray on Respiratory Functions in Human Subjects in the Sitting
and Prone Maximal Restraint Positions,” May 12, 2000.
10. Author interview with Colonel Michael Bumgarner, May 2006.
11. Author interview with SFC Allan Rich, January 2006.
12. Details of this historical occurrence may be found at The Battle of Badr, an unattributed article on Islam.com.
13. Author interviews with Colonel Michael Bumgarner. Also see also Tim Golden, The Battle for Guantanamo, The Times Magazine, New York Times, September 17, 2006.
14. Press release, Amnesty International, May 25, 2005.
15. Der Spiegel, interview with Jimmy Carter, August 15, 2006, The US and Israel Stand Alone.
16. For an example of such reports, refer to Dan Eggen and R. Jeffrey Smith, FBI Agents Allege Abuse of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay Washington Post, December 21, 2004. For a more comprehensive and detailed accounting, one can also review the 438-page Review of the FBIs Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, May 2008. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: the above referenced FBI report is in PDF Acrobat file format and may take several minutes to download due to its size.]
17. Dan Eggen, FBI Reports Duct-Taping, 'Baptizing' at Guantanamo, Washington Post, January 3, 2007.
18. Schmidt-Furlow Report, Department of Defense. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: while commonly refered to simply as Schmidt-Furlow, the full title of this report is "Investigation into FBI Allegations of Detainee Abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Detention Facility."]
20. Ibid.; also Church Report, Department of Defense.
21. Neil A. Lewis, Fresh Details Emerge on Harsh Methods at Guantanamo, New York Times, January 1, 2005.
22. Editorial, “Getting Guantánamo: Teddy Kennedy Is Embarrassed,”
Manchester Union Leader, July 19, 2005. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: this editorial is no longer available on the internet, and has not been reposted here due to copyright concerns.]
23. Shailagh Murray, “Durbin Apologizes for Remarks on Abuse,” Washington
Post, June 22, 2005.
24. Republican Urges Closing Guantanamo Facility, Associated Press, June 11, 2005.
25. Quoted in "UN: Gitmo Violates Word Torture Ban," CNN, May 19, 2006 [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: this article was previously located at http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/19/un.torture/index.html but has since been removed. It has not been reposted here due to copyright concerns.]
26. Colum Lynch, Military Prisons Closure Is Urged, Washington Post, May 20, 2006.
27. US must end secret detentions, BBC News, May 19, 2006.
28. Sam Cage, U.N. Urges U.S. to Shut Guantanamo Prison, Associated Press, May 19, 2006. [Inside Gitmo website administrative note: this article was authored by Alexander G. Higgins although "Associated Press writers Terence Hunt in Washington and Sam Cage and Bradley S. Klapper in Geneva contributed to this report."]
29. New York Times, May 30, 2005.
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Chapter Summaries & Source Documents
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"I've also been 'inside GITMO,' and Cucullu's riveting account shows why we've been safer with it — and why we may soon regret being without it."— Monica Crowley, host of the Monica Crowley Show and author of Nixon in Winter
"Our new president should read it — twice — and take its truth-telling to heart." — Ralph Peters, columnist and author of Looking For Trouble
"Every relevant military and civilian official should give Cucullu's analysis a fair hearing." — Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of An Autumn of War
"An explosive expos of what's really been happening - 'inside the wire' at Guantanamo. Gordon Cucullu - with his Special Forces background, thorough research and extensive visits to Gitmo - knows more about the now-infamous detention facility than any 'outsider.' This book is a must-read for all who care about how we protect ourselves from those who are dying to kill us." — Oliver North, LtCol USMC (Ret.), host of War Stories on FOX News Channel & NYT bestselling author of American Heroes in the Fight Against Radical Islam
"Inside Gitmo is a book of incalculable importance. It lays bare the myths and the stakes involved in the campaign to shut down a facility that any objective reader must conclude is vital to our national security. Every policy-maker in Washington and every citizen across America should study this books brilliant first-hand reporting and its alarming findings." — Frank Gaffney, Jr, President, Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing
"Gordon Cucullu has written a lively work of history that fulfills its promise to explode 'the myths of Guantanamo Bay.' Anyone who wants to speak authoritatively about the Bush administration's detainee policies has to read this book." — Douglas J. Feith, senior fellow, Hudson Institute, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and author of War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism
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.
Illustrative of this concept is that this site functions as a repository for all original documents used in the book as well as providing additional sources for continued research into the subject. For readers seeking context for specific passages referenced in the book, the site provides access to the original report, news article, book, or other source quoted. By so doing we are able to circumvent necessary space limitations in print by augmenting the book with electronic back-up.
Additionally, the site goes where print cannot: it provides an email based discussion group, videos, updated news articles, a blog, podcasts, and other resources. It highlights new developments, steers readers to newly published works, and offers visitors the opportunity to purchase relevant works from the site.
I think that this concept - a continually updated, vibrant companion website for a published book with complete references included - ought to be the new gold standard in publishing and strongly urge new and proven writers and authors to advantage themselves of these services.
Avery Johnson and her team can be contacted at email@example.com.
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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