Guantanamo Topics

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Democracy Now! has regularly covered the stories of those imprisoned at the U.S. detention facility located in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since former President George W. Bush began the so-called "war on terror." The first captives arrived at the detention camp on January 11, 2002.

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    The death of Osama bin Laden has sparked a debate over whether torture of suspects held at places such as the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay helped track down and kill the al-Qaeda leader. Some claim the mission vindicated controversial Bush policies on harsh interrogation techniques. We speak with Matthew Alexander, a former senior military interrogator in Iraq. "The laying of the groundwork, if you will, of these [Bush-era] techniques,...
    May 04, 2011 | Story
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    Citing the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón has used the Spanish courts to investigate cases of torture, war crimes and other offenses around the world. In 1998, he ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, a move that led to Pinochet’s arrest and detention in Britain. In 2003, Garzón indicted Osama bin Laden and dozens of other members of al-Qaeda. Garzón later attempted to indict...
    May 12, 2011 | Story
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    Human Rights Watch has released a new report calling on the U.S. government to launch a broad criminal investigation into alleged crimes of torture committed by former President George W. Bush and other top officials under his administration. It comes on the heels of a Department of Justice investigation into alleged torture, abuse and murder during the interrogation of detainees in CIA custody. Earlier this month, the DOJ announced it would launch...
    Jul 12, 2011 | Story
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    U.S. hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer arrived Sunday to New York City after being held more than two years in an Iranian prison on allegations of spying and trespassing. Last night was their first night to sleep in the United States. The hikers were released last week, then taken to Oman, where they were joyfully reunited with their families. Their ordeal began in July 2009, when along with Sarah Shourd they were arrested while hiking near the...
    Sep 26, 2011 | Story
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    Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, detention policies in the United States are facing increasing scrutiny both here and abroad. American citizen Tarek Mehanna is set to stand trial this month on charges of "conspiring to support terrorism" and "providing material support to terrorists." Mehanna is accused of trying to serve in al-Qaeda’s "media wing." He was 27 years old when he was arrested in October 2009 and...
    Oct 14, 2011 | Story
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    The House is expected to vote today on a massive $662 billion defense bill that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the U.S. military’s battlefield...
    Dec 14, 2011 | Story
  • The $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last week includes controversial provisions that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government by authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. "Congress, with the Democrats in control of the Senate and a Democratic president, is about to enact into law the...
    Dec 19, 2011 | Story
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    Detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay launched a hunger strike today marking the prison’s 10th anniversary, inspired in part by U.S. activists who have called for a national day of action. "They will be staging a series of peaceful protests that will involve sit-ins with signs and banners in the part of the prison that has communal areas, as well as hunger strikes," says Ramzi Kassem, counsel to a number of Guantánamo...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story
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    On the 10th anniversary of when the United States began detaining terror suspects at its Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba, we speak with a former prisoner and the ex-chief U.S. prosecutor, who both call for the Obama administration to close the base. "People are locked up in isolation camps... People lost their hands, lost their eyes, lost their limbs," says Omar Deghayes, who was arrested in Pakistan as a terror suspect and held...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story
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    It has been 10 years since the United States began detaining people at its military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. We speak with someone who has worked to defend the rights of those prisoners for the last decade: Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. While dozens continue to face an unknown future at Guantánamo, we ask Ratner to comment on President Obama’s recent approval of the National Defense Authorization...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story