Did Gitmo "Suicides" Cover Up Murder? U.S. Sgt. Speaks Out on Deaths & Prison's Secret CIA Site

In a month marking its 13th anniversary, we look at one of the great mysteries of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay: What happened the night of June 9, 2006, when three prisoners died? The Pentagon said the three — Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, Salah Ahmed al-Salami and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi — all committed suicide. But were they actually tortured to death at a secret CIA black site at the base? In a broadcast exclusive, we are joined by Joseph Hickman, a Guantánamo staff sergeant and author of the new book, "Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit of the Truth About Guantánamo Bay." We are also joined by Professor Mark Denbeaux, director of Seton Hall University School of Law’s Center for Policy and Research, which has just published the new report, "Guantánamo: America’s Battle Lab."...
...NERMEEN SHAIKH: What did you know about the site when you first came across it that night on June 9th, 2006?

JOSEPH HICKMAN: I knew a little bit about it beforehand. We didn’t know—we didn’t know much at all at the time. We discovered it while we were on a mobile patrol one day, when we stopped to take a break, me and a couple other soldiers. I’ll actually never forget the day, because when we stopped, it was hot. We just wanted to take a break and find some shade under some brush. And when we did stop, we noticed a fence in concertina wire, so we got close to it to see what was there, me and another soldier that was in the Humvee with me at the time. And when we went up to the fence, we could actually see the buildings of Camp No. And they were—they looked exactly like a detainee facility, like Camp Echo or Camp—it was constructed the same way. So we knew—we just knew it was a detainee facility. It was a KBR building, it looked like. And I just remember the guy I was with, the guard I was with, he just said, "You know what we just found?" And I said, "What do you think it is?" And he said, "We just found our Auschwitz." And I’ll never forget that day, and I’ll never forget when he said that.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: What gave him the impression? Why did he say Auschwitz?

JOSEPH HICKMAN: Well, it was obvious to us it was a detainee holding facility that was completely off the books....

...And General Dunleavy and his successor General Miller have both repeatedly characterized Guantánamo as America’s battle lab.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what does that mean?

MARK DENBEAUX: Well, the best thing that we’ve been able to figure out when we started looking—that phrase caught everybody’s attention. And so, the first thing that we looked into was: What were the experiments there? And we were able to find and discover some of the laboratory experiments were there, including giving them drugs that would cause psychotic breaks for up to 30 days, as soon as they arrived, and a variety of other things that were given to them over a long period of time.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Which had never been used in any other context before.

MARK DENBEAUX: The drug they used, they claimed, was to help with malaria. However, there is no malaria in Guantánamo, there is no malaria in Cuba, and every person who was brought there had already had a medical examination in Afghanistan and was proven to have no contagious diseases. So, it was a psychotic, really, inducing drug, which had been used for a considerable period of time by other sources in order to break down the state of mind of the people in Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Denbeaux, you’re saying that this camp was used to experiment on people...


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