Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Military Prison
Publication Year: 2013
In the aftermath of 9/11, few questioned the political narrative provided by the White House about Guantánamo and the steady stream of prisoners delivered there from half a world away. The Bush administration gave various rationales for the detention of the prisoners captured in the War on Terror: they represented extraordinary threats to the American people, possessed valuable enemy intelligence, and were awaiting prosecution for terrorism or war crimes. Both explicitly and implicitly, journalists, pundits, lawyers, academics, and even released prisoners who authored books about the island prison endorsed elements of the official narrative.
In Selling Guantánamo, John Hickman exposes the holes in this manufactured story. He shines a spotlight on the critical actors, including Rumsfeld, Cheney, and President Bush himself, and examines how the facts belie the “official” accounts. He chastises the apologists and the critics of the administration, arguing that both failed to see the forest for the trees.
Published by: University Press of Florida
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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In January two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstyletwo.oldstyle, twenty men were selected from a much larger popula-tion of prisoners because they seemed unusual to their American cap-tors. T_hey were transported to the far side of the planet and delivered to a tropical island that would seem, if not for the electrif_ied fences and the heavily armed military personnel, like paradise. T_he prisoners were ...
Part 1. The Official Explanation
1. Framing the Decision
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T_he world f_irst learned that some of the Afghan and foreign nationals taken prisoner in Afghanistan were being transported to the United States Naval Base at GuantÃ¡namo Bay in news reports of their arrival on January one.oldstyleone.oldstyle, two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstyletwo.oldstyle. Although well covered by the press, the decision to use the military base as a prison initially encountered more interest ...
2. Strange Consensus
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As the report of an investigation into the motives of a presidential administration for a major decision that is widely viewed as morally reprehensible, this book is akin to the report of an interrogation of a criminal suspect. Here the analogy is not to encounters where ques-tioning is merely the excuse to inf_lict punishment. Instead the analogy ...
3. Three Comparable Historical Cases
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Attempting to understand the reasons for the Bush administrationâs GuantÃ¡namo decision in isolation from other historical cases of in-ternment of special classes of prisoners runs two major risks. T_he f_irst is failing to distinguish putative from actual purposes. T_he second is failing to understand what makes the present case truly dif_ferent....
4. Extraordinary Threat
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T_he âworst elements of al-Qaeda and the Talibanâ was how Brigadier General Michael Lehnert, the U.S. Marines of_f_icer in command of the prison, described the prisoners as they began to arrive at the base.one.fitted Not to be outdone by a subordinate posturing for the press, Joint Chiefs of Staf_f chairman General Richard Myers promoted them as ...
5. Intelligence Collection
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T_he initial emphasis on the threat rationale was supported and then supplanted by the intelligence rationale, the notion that the GuantÃ¡-namo decision was necessary so as to exploit prisoners as sources of information necessary to prevent future terrorist attacks. âT_he most important thing for us from our standpoint is gathering intelligence,â ...
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...âWe undoubtedly will end up processing some through the criminal justice system,â explained Rumsfeld in his news brief_ing on January two.oldstyletwo.oldstyle, two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstyletwo.oldstyle. âI wouldnât be surprised if we did some through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and I suspect there will be some military com-missions.âone.fitted T_hat simple, almost of_fhand comment ignited a controversy ...
Part 2. The Alternative Explanation
7. Spectacle of Victory
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Exposing the triple rationale of threat, intelligence, and prosecution as hollow raises the obvious question: What really explains the Guan-tÃ¡namo decision? T_he answer lies in the calculations of political ad-vantage made by senior Bush administration of_f_icials and in the neo-conservative ideology of many of these of_f_icials and their intellectual ...
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Human rights activists have long claimed that U.S. military and in-telligence agencies practice torture and, more often, teach and super-vise the practice of torture by the military and intelligence services of U.S. client states. Such claims received little news coverage in the United States, in all probability because the idea that their govern-...
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Politics stops at the waterâs edge. National interest supersedes any po-litical advantage in domestic politics that might be gained in conduct-ing international af_fairs. In the century before America abandoned its Western Hemisphereâcentered geopolitical strategy for a globalist foreign policy, the adage was more than patriotic piety. For the last ...
Part 3. Repercussions
10. Closing Guantánamo
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Closing GuantÃ¡namo was one of the least ambiguous of the campaign promises made by candidate Barack Obama during his two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstyleeight.oldstyle run for the White House. Of all the reasons for his failure to fulf_ill, the most important is that it was handicapped, from the moment it was an-nounced, by the adoption of two of the original rationales for the ...
11. After Guantánamo
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What became of the GuantÃ¡namo decision a full decade after it was of-f_icially announced and explained? Although the explanation survived only in bogeyman portrayals of the remaining prisoners conjured by Republican elected of_f_icials and pundits, the decision itself survived as a barbed-wire fait accompli. Despite promising to close the prison ...
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Family, friends, colleagues, and students helped make this book pos-sible through their feedback and expressions of impatience. I thank them all for repeating one question: âWhen will your book be f_inished?â Special thanks are owed to Delana Hickman and Renee Hickman for their support. Profound thanks are due to my editor, Amy Gorelick, for ...
Appendix 1. Guantánamo in Popular Culture
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Appendix 2. Island Prisons
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About the Author
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T_he University Press of Florida is the scholarly publishing agency A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, New College of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of North Florida, University of ...
Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013