Posted by: Sam Carson | 25 March, 2007

News Flash: Gitmo is not a Prison

The collection of people staying indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay are not prisoners. They are not even detainees. This is because Gitmo is not a prison. It is a “detention facility”, and those unfortunate souls in it are “unlawful enemy combatants”.

This from Karen J. Greenberg who writes a very interesting post at TomDispatch about the doublethink of Guantanamo Bay.

The article is spread over eleven points that seem to describe the place very well. Point number three: “Guantanamo is not about guilt and innocence — or, once an enemy combatant, always an enemy combatant”.

Some of Ms. Greenberg’s interesting observations include that of the guards themselves.

These sorts of contradictions leave me ultimately feeling sorry for our escorts. It is not their fault that they know so little about the place they are charged with explaining to us. Most of them arrived roughtly eight months ago and were handed a defensive script. They are often quite sincere when they tell us that they don’t know answers to our quesitons.

They actually don’t know what went on before their arrival, or where things were located in earlier days, or if perchance abuses or outbursts, not to speak of torture, might have occurred at Gitmo, or even who was in charge as little as a year ago. Few, if any, from the old days are there to instruct or correct them.


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  1. […] the NYU School of Law, writes another post on Guantanamo Bay at TomDispatch.  Recently, I also commented on an article for the same site where she wrote about the strange doublespeak that occurs in the facility, which is not to be […]

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