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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  • Guantanamo_1
    Wall Street Journal journalist Jess Bravin reports on the controversial military commissions at Guantánamo. Describing it as "the most important legal story in decades," Bravin uncovers how the Bush administration quickly drew up an alternative legal system to try men captured abroad after the Sept. 11 attacks. Soon evidence obtained by torture was being used to prosecute prisoners, but some military officers refused to take part. We...
    Feb 22, 2013 | Story
  • Col_stuart_couch
    On Sept. 11, 2001, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Couch’s friend died co-piloting the second plane to hit the World Trade Center. Soon after, Couch became one of the first military prosecutors assigned to the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay to prosecute men alleged to have carried out the terrorist plot. He ultimately would refuse to prosecute one detainee: Mohamedou Ould Slahi. "It became clear that what had been done to Slahi amounted...
    Feb 22, 2013 | Story
  • Couch
    On Friday Democracy Now! spoke with Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a former military prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay. During his first visit to the prison camp, Couch witnessed a detainee being subjected to coercive interrogation tactics that he recognized from his own military training. He later concluded that the interrogation of Slahi had been "morally repugnant," and refused to prosecute.
    Feb 21, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Amys_column_default
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    It takes courage to enter a war zone willingly, armed with a microphone and a camera as a journalist. That is what Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj was doing in Dec. 2001, as he was entering Afghanistan from Pakistan to cover the U.S. military operations there. While his colleague was allowed in, al-Hajj was arrested, in what was to be a harrowing, nightmarish odyssey that lasted close to seven years, most of...

    Jan 10, 2013 | Columns & Articles
  • Sami_al_hajj
    In part two of our exclusive interview, Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera journalist imprisoned and tortured at Guantánamo for six years, describes how he waged a 438-day hunger strike to protest his detention. Al-Hajj was arrested in Pakistan in December of 2001 while traveling to Afghanistan on a work assignment. Held for six years without charge, al-Hajj was repeatedly tortured, hooded, attacked by dogs and hung from a ceiling. Interrogators questioned...
    Jan 09, 2013 | Story
  • Guantanamo-1
    Four years after vowing to close Guantánamo and 11 years after it opened, President Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act, barring the use of federal funds to transfer detainees from the notorious prison to U.S. soil. Of the 166 prisoners remaining at Guantánamo, 86 have been cleared for release. Obama says he signed the NDAA’s renewal despite his objections to the Guantánamo provisions and maintained in a signing statement...
    Jan 08, 2013 | Story
  • Samialhajj
    On the 11th anniversary of Guantánamo Bay’s use as a prison for foreign detainees, we air a Democracy Now! exclusive interview with Sami al-Hajj, the only journalist held at Guantánamo. The Al Jazeera cameraman was arrested in Pakistan in December of 2001 while traveling to Afghanistan on a work assignment. Held for six years without charge, al-Hajj was repeatedly tortured, hooded, attacked by dogs and hung from a ceiling. Interrogators...
    Jan 08, 2013 | Story
  • Marcy
    The Obama administration has filed an emergency appeal of a federal judge’s decision to block a controversial statute that gave the government the power to carry out indefinite detention. Judge Katherine Forrest ruled against a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, authorizing the imprisonment of anyone deemed a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. A group of journalists, scholars and political...
    Sep 18, 2012 | Story
  • Button-gitmo
    The Supreme Court has refused to hear any new Guantánamo appeals even though half of the men being held were cleared for release five years ago. Critics of Monday’s decision say it leaves the fate of prisoners — many of them long cleared for release — in the hands of a conservative D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has constantly sided with military prosecutors and refused to order the release of any prisoner. The high court...
    Jun 12, 2012 | Story
  • Button-gitmo-trials
    The military tribunal established to prosecute the five leading suspects in the September 11th attacks opened this weekend at Guantánamo Bay. During a nine-hour hearing on Saturday, the five prisoners refused to enter pleas on murder and terrorism charges, or to talk or listen to the judge, in what one of their lawyers explained was a "peaceful resistance to an unjust system." Defense attorneys say the trial for the five leading suspects...
    May 08, 2012 | Story