Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Larry Siems


Little, Brown and Company (Jan. 20 2015)

The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp was set up in 2002 by the Bush administration for the purpose of detaining, interrogating, and prosecuting so-called enemy combatants in the ‘War on Terror’. Initially it was argued that legal controls afforded by the US were not binding and that Geneva conventions neither did apply. It would take four years to rescind this.

Guantanamo Diary is an account of the incarceration of one remarkable man in his own words. Many of these words have not been “unclassified” and are therefore blocked out in the text but printed nonetheless. I took years for lawyers to secure the release of the documents which comprise the book.

Mohamedou maintains his innocence and I don’t offer a judgement on this. However, if this is a truthful account of his custody, I have no difficulty accepting that a significant part of his detention to be inhumane and indicative of corruption in the US military. This is a remarkable story that should alarm anyone who has concern over abuse of power. Four stars!

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