GUANTÁNAMO DIARYMohamedou Ould SlahiCanongate Like the supply chain behind meat consumption, it isn’t easy to think about Guantánamo. There is a wilful elision; the "war on terror" has become an American shibboleth, and few question its premise or processes. The US constitution and federal courts are tuned out; its location in Cuba makes it an enclave of legal surrealism. It is America’s Lubyanka. Its true nature, however, must be recognised and understood. Guantánamo Diary is Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s memoir of two-and-a-half years of tribulation and trauma at the hands of the shadowy military-intelligence operators running Guantánamo, and the now closed prisons Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan. The book presents one of the first witness accounts of the conditions and methods inside Guantánamo — and it is deeply shocking. Slahi was arrested in 2000 on a flimsy suspicion of involvement in a plot to blow up LA International Airport. He was soon released, but his fate was com...

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