Guantanamo Bay, the notorious prison where many deadly terrorists are allegedly detained, is a fortress of secrets.
Little is known about the actual day-to-day events of the prison, but Gawker managed to obtain an inside look. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, they were able to get their hands on classified information that discloses some shocking details about the life of the guards and detainees. The documents describe espionage investigations from 2005-2006 carried out by INSCOM, the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command. Included in INSCOM’s duties is the protection of American forces against spying, which is known in the Army as Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the US Army, or SAEDA.
The investigations reveal accusations that the guards and prisoners were engaging in “improper” behavior, that included overt friendliness and leaking information.
One of the most shocking guard-prisoner relationships was between a sailor who, after working at Guantanamo for some time, chose to convert to Islam. He appealed to a prisoner to help him officially convert.
He told investigators that he “began studying Islam in order to gain insight into the detainees’ religious beliefs, and found himself liking some of the ideas.” He converted. One detainee told investigators that the sailor had approached him and asked for his advice on converting, including how he could pray at work if he converted. The detainee “told [the sailor] that he had to go home and take a shower, then come back to him and state a phrase that would make him Muslim.” The detainee said he later witnessed the sailor “state the phrase to become a Muslim” in front of another detainee.
But the fraternizing does not stop there. In addition to swapping DVD porn with the detainees, one prisoner reportedly asked a guard for love advice, as he had begun seeing one of the female workers.
The detainee also claimed to one guard to have struck up a relationship with a female guard. One day the detainee called the guard over. “I walked over to talk to him and he asked me how to read women,” the guard told an investigator. “I then told him that I did not know. He then told me that a female guard had been writing him letters.” According to the detainee, the female guard had given him her phone number, address and email address.
The other newly-revealed documents show the extensive knowledge detainees have of their guards and other staff members at Guantanamo. They also reveal investigations into information leaks, notably the rough torture tactics used on the prisoners. One such prisoner is now in “legal-limbo” after his charges were thrown out because he was tortured.
As the secrecy surrounding Guantanamo continues to erode, we can learn more about what actually goes on in the prison. Hopefully, the emerging information will result in change.