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Detainee 063
December 7, 2009 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Detainee 063. This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay.
posted by chunking express (28 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
...and the whole thing is posted in reverse order, in case anyone else gets thoroughly confused the way I did. I'm not very bright today
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:31 PM on December 7, 2009


Most blogs publish the newest entry first. This is being published like a blog.
posted by chunking express at 2:37 PM on December 7, 2009


Thanks for this.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:38 PM on December 7, 2009


Is there a specific military/interrogation/prison/law enforcement meaning to the word 'theme' that I don't know? It's used an awful lot here.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:52 PM on December 7, 2009


0000
Activities concluded for the day and detainee allowed to sleep.


0400
SGT R and SGT A begin session. SGT R wakes 063. [...]

0430
Detainee nods off. SGT R explains that falling asleep is wrong.
posted by ymgve at 3:09 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anyone else finding the "pride and ego up/down / with a fear up harsh" statements creepy and ever-so-slightly newspeaky?
posted by neewom at 3:12 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, and they also sound uncomfortably like jargon from the "pick-up artist" movement.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:18 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there a specific military/interrogation/prison/law enforcement meaning to the word 'theme' that I don't know? It's used an awful lot here.

Themes in this usage seem to be different angles of attack to the interrogation -- good cop / bad cop games to get the detainee to start placing trust in his captors. "Started 'Al Qaida used Islam' and 'bad muslim' themes" means that the interrogator is looking to undermine the detainee's faith that what Al Qaida was preaching was holy and good. "How can Al Qaida leaders say they are true Muslims when they do XYZ? This is not jihad, this is hirabah (unholy war). Al Qaida is a perversion of Islam."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:20 PM on December 7, 2009


Yes, and they also sound uncomfortably like jargon from the "pick-up artist" movement.

Or L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology "rundowns."
posted by Kirklander at 3:25 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and "pride / ego up/down" are likely indicative of actions you'd do against a prisoner to raise or lower their sense of self -- their pride, their ego, etc.

Pride down? Strip him naked.
Ego down? Put a hood over his eyes.
Fear up harsh? Snarling dog.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:31 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also reminds me of The Aquariums of Pyongyang, the book about extrajudicial prisoners in North Korea.
posted by Kirklander at 3:54 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is there any information anywhere about the veracity of this? For example, are these transcripts public record, and this guy is just republishing them in a novel way? Or is he a recognized journalist who claims to have received a leak from a trusted source? Or is he some random guy? Or what?

The "About" page doesn't seem to say anything regarding this. Whois for the domain shows it's registered to "Alan Trotter", for whom there is no Wikipedia article. Googling "Alan Trotter" reveals a billion hits, almost certainly for multiple Alan Trotters.

To be clear, I'm not asking "Is there any evidence we tortured", or anything like that. I'm asking about these particular transcripts themselves.
posted by Flunkie at 3:54 PM on December 7, 2009


Some background information.
posted by Siberian Mist at 4:13 PM on December 7, 2009


O515
Detainee offered food and eats lamb and unlevened bread. Began “God’s will” approach. Detainee told disciples chose him because he was expendable. Interrogators asked detainee how he could stay in Jerusalem and not see any Roman personnel. Detainee stated that Jewish people spoke good Latin. Interrogators revisited Lazarus story.

1730
Detainee drank a Caucasian. Refused phone and bowling break. Refused to be addressed by proper name. Detainee’s story began to get vague and had many holes where third party involvement should have happened. Carpet pissers identity unclear. Interrogators eventually determined the detainee was veering away from the truth and closed their shift.

1225
Detainee offered model airplane. Started 9-11 theme. Detainee asked if he’s ever been in a cockpit before. Detainee stated his father’s views on defense. Interrogators told detainee they’ve been hearing that crap ever since they were at UCLA and they’re out there busting their buns every night and detainee should tell his old man to drag Walton and Denier up and down the court for 48 minutes. Detainee asked if he likes movies about gladiators.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:21 PM on December 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


The banality of evil.
posted by bearwife at 5:12 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is completely bogus. It's obviously a long-lost manuscript by Samuel Beckett:

1230
Detainee is offered a fish sandwich, French fries, coke and a yogurt parfait. Request was made to unhand cuff detainee, but there was no key. Detainee did not eat.

1320
Strap was hung from ceiling in anticipation of the doctor’s arrival.

1355
Detainee stated, “I think now we are in Ramadan.”

1915
Detainee used restroom and prayed.

2000
Detainee was offered food and told that he has already missed five meals.

2330
Detainee began to cry.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:35 PM on December 7, 2009


0730
Doctor checks detainee. Tells detainee that if detainee doesn’t have a bowel movement, detainee will get an enema. Doctor says detainee’s feet look better.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:36 PM on December 7, 2009


They should have just outsourced prisoner treatment to these nice hedge fund people.
posted by Kirklander at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2009


Explanations of some of the terms (e.g. "pride and ego down") can be found in the Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations FM 2.22.3 (there's a mouthful right there).

As for the document's authenticity, this appears to be the exact same interrogation log published by Time Magazine more than three years ago. Time also had an article about the interrogation that went into some details on the log.
posted by zachlipton at 7:10 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Started 9-11 theme. Detainee asked to pray when confronted with photos of child victims and was denied. Interrogators told detainee he was using religion as a tool to escape hard questions.

Whether or not the blog is legit, I found this detail profoundly disturbing.
posted by Monsters at 7:22 PM on December 7, 2009


Sorry zachlipton- I should have previewed. Okay, that makes it even more disturbing.
posted by Monsters at 7:23 PM on December 7, 2009


I found this bit equally disturbing:

1630
Detainee told interrogators that he was in charge now and they would bring him food and water when he wanted and they would let him sleep when he wanted. Interrogators established control over detainee by having him alternately sit and stand. Detainee seemed near crying and was told not to cry on this shift.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:46 PM on December 7, 2009


If this is even remotely accurate, then the terrorists won. There is no redemption for a nation that produces such precise and 'scientific' torture.
posted by holycola at 9:27 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


And I should add that I generally find humanity beyond redemption in general, but those who think that this is 'the good' are among its worst.
posted by holycola at 9:30 PM on December 7, 2009


Why are people questioning whether this is real? Time released it 3 years ago. I remember reading it on the train and deciding I would never vote for anyone who supported extrajudicial prisons anywhere. I guess nobody really reported on it, but...
posted by shii at 3:09 AM on December 8, 2009


Yeah, this isn't made up at all. I thought this was a big deal when time published the articles, but I guess not. And really, is it particularly shocking? It shouldn't be news to anyone people are being tortured in these prisons. Who knows what happens at sites that no one knows about.
posted by chunking express at 8:25 AM on December 8, 2009


Law School Study Finds Evidence Of Cover-Up After Three Alleged Suicides At Guantanamo In 2006
posted by homunculus at 9:49 AM on December 8, 2009


c e, no, not news... but yes, every single action is still intensely viscerally shocking.
We will pay for these horrors. I believe we are what we do. Not what we tell people we are (or intended to be).
As h points out... this is a Sanitary example of what WE have done. What WE allowed. What we are doing. What we ARE.
posted by infinite intimation at 3:19 PM on December 8, 2009


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