For the first time, the top commander of detention operations at Guantanamo has confirmed the existence of the mysterious Camp 7. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby also provided a few details about the maximum-security lockup. He described it as a maximum security facility that was already built when President Bush announced in September 2006 that 14 high-value terrorism suspects had been transferred from CIA secret detention facilities to Guantanamo. An additional detainee, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, arrived last April. “They went straight into that facility,” Buzby said.Buzby, who heads all military detention operations on Guantanamo, said he controls Camp 7, but would not discuss whether the CIA might still be talking with the high-value detainees.Paul Rester, the military’s chief interrogator at Guantanamo, told AP he has been interviewing one of the Camp 7 detainees and that others may be interrogated, depending on intelligence needs.But other key military commanders on the base have been told to leave Camp 7 to others. “Not everybody, even within the Joint Task Force, has access or even knowledge of where Camp 7 is,” said Army Col. Bruce Vargo. As commander of the military’s Joint Detention Group at Guantanamo, Vargo is responsible for the camps holding 260 detainees. But not for Camp 7.Red Cross representatives have visited Camp 7 and all the other detention facilities at Guantanamo, confirmed Geoff Loane, head of the humanitarian organization’s delegation in Washington. He declined to give details.
The JTF may not get much action down Camp 7 way but they do have a camp magazine to enjoy. The Wire (not the excellent TV show) is Gitmo’s military produced lifestyle supplement (in pdf)! Have a browse through the archives, this January’s edition (ps. typo! Someone tell the military affairs office they’ve put this years mags under 2007) had a touching article in tribute to Martin Luther King and -as with much of the media- completely ‘neglect’ to mention his anti-war & economic justice work, well you can only take irony so far…
Also in this months jam packed issue-
- JTF port security and their nifty gunboats (they’d make the Iranian’s jealous).
- BCCT psychologists, hey they’re all really great, really!
- Joseph Benkert Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs pays a visit!
- American football & extreme sports reports, Team Shock won the Gitmo challenge!
- College benefits, hey you could learn about the Nuremberg trials!
- ‘Hitman’ not as good as ‘The Matrix’ apparently.
- A Christian message of hope from a Chaplain, bless ’em!
- Camp Justice Red Bulls get a swanky new sign!
- Road Burners video arcade game delivered and hard rockers ‘Night Ranger’ perform (80’s hit with ‘Sister Christian‘ apparently, anyone…?) !
I just have to wonder does Camp 7 have a secret magazine where they don’t have to make do with Benkert, they get Dick and Negroponte maybe, a problem page by Dr. Phil & a center spread of a hot chick force feeding turists the milk of human kindness at gunpoint? I think The Wire should investigate, I reckon those Camp 7 goons are getting all the sweet deals.
PS. The value of the week for this week on the website is:-
“Value of the Week”
“A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”
I kid you not.
PPS. The Dog Ate My Torture Homework-
The U.S. military has lost a year’s worth of records describing the Guantanamo interrogation and confinement of Osama bin Laden’s driver, a prosecutor said at the Yemeni captive’s war court hearing on Thursday. Lawyers for the driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, asked for the records to support their argument that prolonged isolation and harassment at the Guantanamo prison have mentally impaired him and compromised his ability to aid in his defense on war crimes charges.
Can’t wait for The Wire’s series of investigative reports on this.