Mohamedou Ould Slahi's 2015 Guantánamo Diary has received extensive attention in the media and has raised serious questions about the legality of the detention center at Guantánamo Bay. This essay examines the book not solely as a testimony for policy change, but also as a literary object that simultaneously illustrates the global circuits of neoimperialism, challenges that imperialism, and exposes the impossibility of fully disrupting that imperial power. The book's reminiscence of classical colonial texts marks Guantánamo as a neocolonial site and, in attempting to make visible the violence that occurs there, positions itself as a new kind of postcolonial writing. However, given the extensive mediation the text has undergone, from both the United States military (expressed via numerous black-bar redactions) and the editorship of Larry Siems (visible in a lengthy introduction and copious speculative footnotes), it forces audiences to reckon with the impossibility of fully accessing a colonial subjectivity. Guantánamo Diary demands a reconsideration of new modes of colonial power and the levels of complicity global audiences play in the proliferation of that power.


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pp. 20-35
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