International

Guantanamo Bay

This Guardian report into the nine Britons imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay makes for disturbing reading.

Although the Guardian tour was tightly managed, there were cracks in the image that the US has strived so hard to construct. Those in daily contact with the prisoners – their guards – contradict the official line; they do not talk of trapping dangerous terrorists, but primarily of holding people to pump them for intelligence.

“These people may not be criminally orientated; they might be having information we might want to know,” says Sergeant David Keefer. “I don’t view any one of them as terrorists – that’s not my job to decide – but neither am I a bleeding heart. I treat each one as a pertinent information giver. The mindset of dealing with a criminal is different from dealing with an Afghan farmer,” he adds, ambiguously.

Legal proceedings against the two of the Britons were suspended last night to allow talks between British and US legal officials.

No-one is in a position to judge whether all or any of these men were involved in terrorist activity – that is a matter for a court. What should be beyond doubt is that they have the right to a fair and transparent trial and that the British government should use all its power to secure that right.

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