The Interrogator's Notebook

Join a former interrogator in asking the hard questions.

Red Tape as a Torture Device at Guantanamo Bay


Many of us have pictures in our head about the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, and some of the enhanced interrogation techniques that were exposed there.

However it may be that red tape is the worst torture device of all in the war against terror. Journalist Max Fisher in the Washington Post breaks down the 4 different ways that prisoners can leave the detention facility in his article Why hasn't Obama closed Guantanamo Bay. The first two paths to leave Gitmo - civilian trial and military tribunal - have been blocked by Congress.

Another path for the detainees - to send them into a foreign country's legal system - can only be done if it can be proved they aren't being tortured. The 4th route, that applies to more than half of the 166 detainees, would be to find a new country to send prisoners to if they have already been exonerated of any wrongdoing. No one is saying that it will be easy to do. However, it also wasn't easy to put bounties on the heads of terrorists (in some cases up to $25K), and to pay for the information that led to so many false arrests at Gitmo.

The hunger strikes by Gitmo prisoners have grabbed the media spotlight, for now.  Obama and our government should do more, and the American people should hold them more accountable to do so.

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