Gitmo Retailers Tried To Break Him For 15 Years — They Fail

ONEuthor’s intro: Nearly 20 years after Guantánamo opened, people are still debating whether such a place should exist. But imagine if American boys, 18 years old or even younger, were sent to foreign prisons for 5, 10, 20 years without ever being charged, where they were tortured, punished for practicing their religion, being tested, and forced to live in solitary confinement. This is Guantanamo. Since January 11, 2002, the United States has held 779 prisoners at Guantánamo. Those men come from all over the world, represent 50 countries and speak more than 20 languages. They are doctors, journalists, singers, professors, students, teachers, medics, poets, blacksmiths, former CIA agents and assassins, farmers, tribal elders, etc. son and husband, brother and father. They are the reason I set out to write about Guantánamo — to show the world who was really there. Real people, not just the boogeyman terrorists in the American nightmare.

I think if I could capture some small moments of joy and beauty, of friendship and brotherhood, of hardship and struggle to survive — all those moments that unite us and stick with us – then I can change the way people think about Prisoners of Guantánamo.

At the age of 18, I was trafficked to America for a bounty by men who claimed I was a combat al Qaeda general. I wasn’t that general — I was nothing more than a student — but being detained at Guantánamo made me a resistance leader. Taking place in the fall of 2002, this story is a small window into the early years of Camp Delta, where chaos and chaos reigned, and how America pushed me down a road of protest I never had. intention to go.

You know exactly what Americans want. They can’t find Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar or the dirty bomb they think al Qaeda has hidden somewhere ready to release, or they’ll stop asking you the same questions. Where is Osama? Where is Mullah Omar? Where is the dirty bomb? You just finished high school but you’re smart enough to know that it’s hard to get a dirty bomb, and why would they ask you?

You were sold as Adel in Afghanistan, an identity they made you wear until they found another. Then you become Alexander, a good general, much older than you but one of the other brothers identified you in a pile of pictures after he stayed awake for days, shackled in a shack. The room had flashing lights and screaming music. You don’t blame him. He’s got to name someone, and if it’s not you, it’s another brother.

“Why am I really here?” you ask.

“You tell me why you are here,” they said.

“Because you think I know about a dirty bomb?” you say. “So you know about the dirty bomb?” they say.

“That’s not what I said.”

You tell them what you know. You tell them what you think they want to know. You don’t say anything to them. You say no more — you and so many brothers.

You know you did nothing wrong, harmed no one, and this gives you strength. Now, when they call you to make a reservation, you sit or stand or squat, whatever they make you do, and you recite a verse yourself. You pray. You recite the verses of the Quran with yourself in your head. You used to say them out loud, but they put a sock in your mouth and cover it, they’ll hit you. It’s okay. Allah will understand. You pray and this brings you out of a room that smells of sweat and urine and despair; it takes you to the mountains of Raymah or to the moon or to the vast universe, all created by Allah, and you no longer hear them. You don’t hear their questions or their insults. You don’t feel their slaps. You don’t feel your body shake as the muscles rebel against the squat they’re forcing you into, and this makes the interrogators angrier and weaker, even if they don’t know it. .

Some people around you just can’t handle the beatings, the pain, the insomnia, the feeling of uncertainty. They couldn’t stand the isolation and constant screaming of the vacuums and the starvation and lack of sleep. They can’t handle the darkness of the tunnel with no light and they break. They work for the interrogators even though they don’t want to. They said yes when interrogators asked if a brother was al Qaeda. They identified brothers they didn’t know in the photo. They make up names and connections. They confirm or verify the identity and the information cannot be true. They lie and lie about hundreds of men, and when they lie, they get rewarded. They get better food and better cages. They are moved to level 1+ and then to Camp 4, where life is easy and there is always talk of being free.

It’s hard to watch your brothers suffer while these liars lie about men they never knew, including you. But you understand. You don’t blame them. You blame the interrogators who ask them to lie and then believe them. You blame General Miller, who made this machine and raised it. And one day when you’re in the isolated November House with the squeals of vacuum cleaners, you figure out how to teach them a lesson.

“Let’s play with them,” you say to Waddah that night as the vacuum works. “We have nothing to lose. I am here and they are here. “And that’s when the fun begins.

You make reservations with your interrogators and it makes them very happy.

“Why are you calling?” they asked.

“I’m willing to cooperate,” you say. “I have some important information.”

All smiles, people interrogating you, an old man and a woman, all mushy and pale.

For the next three days, you made up all kinds of stories to the brothers at night about the dirty bombs they were looking for, and in the morning you gave them to your interrogators. Your interrogators are happy, they eat it all, greedy for more. On the third day, at the end of your session, you tell them you have another really important detail.

This feels good. They don’t know what the pain ahead is. They don’t know that you are in control. You want to enjoy this moment a little longer. They wait. You take one last sip of cold water.

“All I’ve told you in the last three days…” You pause for a moment. You take their eager faces. “Everything I tell you is complete bullshit.” You consider the words hit like bullets to the chest.

Happiness turns to panic turns to anger and then they just go crazy. They are so crazy that they can’t talk to you. They stormed out.

“Your problem is not my lie,” you say. “It’s that you want to hear my lies and make them true.”

They call you the next day to make a reservation and you go but don’t talk. You sit there and read aloud the verses of the Quran. You do this every day for a week and then an older person comes to talk to you. This person is in charge, you think. He must be able to handle such calm and thoughtfulness.

“Why did you do that?” he asks.

“Why did you hug me without telling me why?” you ask. “Why do you torture my brothers? Why do you believe obvious lies and then torture us into saying they are true? Why do you make people who would say anything to make you happy? ”

“How do you know they’re lying?” he says.

“Your problem is not my lie,” you say. “That you want to hear my lies and make them true. You know that your enemies and spies have been lying to you. And you tortured men for those lies. I lie to teach you a lesson, show you how easy it is to lie to you.”

This made him very angry.

“Damn it!” he says. “I’ll break you next.”

“We’ll see.” You have the brightest smile. “I’ll cut my tongue before talking to you again.”

The old woman interrogator curses you.

“I will bring your damn ass back to America and make you my servant. I will shave that disgusting beard and I will make you my slave. He would clean my house, scrub my kitchen, cook for me, take my bags. . . Your ass is mine. ”

You look away as she screams at you. You don’t say anything. And this made her even more angry.

“Why did you do that?” asked the other interrogator. He is tired. “Is it because you hate America?”

“I want to learn how to be like you,” you say. “I want to learn how to be an interrogator.”

He slaps you. You don’t think he has it in him. He slaps you so hard and so fast that it’s shocking, and there’s not much left that can shock you. He kicks your chair from underneath you and throws you to the floor.

“Shack him,” he told the guards.

They chain you to the worst position. Your whole body trembles. He turned the AC up high and poured a pitcher of ice water over his friend.

“I’ll teach you how to be a good interrogator.”

“Okay!” you say. “Thank you!”

He slaps you in the face until you bleed.

“They trained you well,” he said. “But I’ll make you cry like a bitch!”

You laugh at him. Then spit in his face. It was a good thing, mixed with blood.

The guards strip your naked. He pours more water on you and leaves you chained to the floor, squatting with his hands in front of you.

The interpreter said, “He’s been doing this for fifteen years and you’re the first to make him look like such an idiot.”

How did this become about him? you think.

The angrier he gets, the happier you’ll be knowing you’ve beaten them.

The guards come every hour to pour cold water on you and make sure you stay awake. You pray. You tell fairy tales. The days passed like this. You suffer but you really love to see those assholes so angry.

They do their best to make you say you’re not lying. They are desperate for you not to lie. Sorry, things didn’t go the way they liked, you tell them.

“You’re blacklisting,” the old woman said.

You don’t know what this blacklist is. You have been in this prison; What could be worse? You’re young, you don’t care about anything. If you challenge me, you think, Prepare to bang your head against the wall with your blacklist.

“You will spend the rest of your life here!” the tired old man yelled at you.

The angrier he gets, the happier you’ll be knowing you’ve beaten them.

“By Allah,” you say, “I will leave Guantánamo. And you’ll be the one to hold my hand and lead me on the plane. One day, your criminals will be discovered. ” You are serious when you say this. You don’t doubt it for a second. You believe that these criminals will be caught, that they will be stopped, and you will all be released.

This tired old guy looks at you, surprised. “Who are you working for?” he says. “Allah,” you say.

“Someone is going to break you,” he said. “Someone’s going to break you soon, Osama’s boy.”

You tell yourself a hadith: And if they gather together to harm you with anything, they will not harm you except what Allah has prescribed against you. The pen was raised and the pages were dry.

You are here because Allah has willed it, and with His blessing, one day you will be gone. In a land of sick jokes, that’s the only truth.

Taken from DON’T FORGET WE ARE HERE: Lost and Found at Guantánamo by Mansoor Adayfi. Copyright © 2021. Available from Hachette Books, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Gitmo Retailers Tried To Break Him For 15 Years — They Fail


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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