Torture in Guantanamo Bay
Torture in Guantanamo Bay Mohamed al-Kahtani was a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay who endured numerous disgusting and truly horrifying acts of torture. Being seduced by prostitutes and female officers, told to act like a dog and forced to crawl on his hands and feet while barking, and forced to urinate himself are just a few examples of the type of life prisoner’s at Guantanamo Bay are living. They are held in solitary confinement, while all day and night their lights in the rooms are kept on. Each day prisoner’s are tortured.
Whether it is psychical or emotional torture, it is occurring all round the camp. Prisoner’s being tied down and forced to listen to extremely loud rock music for and extended period of time is one of the tactics used to break down an individual emotionally, to make sure they are completely cooperative and under the control of the officers. With all of this going on, with numerous reports of abuse from the Red Cross, the United States Government continues to argue against the fact that it is occurring.
Their constant claims of no abuse are eerily similar to The Party in George Orwell’s novel 1984. They tell the public one thing, and they all believe that it is true without question. The use of double-think, as it is called, is not the only thing consistent with the novel… In the Guantanamo Bay detention center, torture and psychological warfare are used to break down the will of prisoner’s to put them under complete control of the officers of the camp, which is very similar to the torture described in the novel 1984.
In an examination of Guantanamo Bay, the Red Cross found many signs of abuse and torture along with psychological harm done to the prisoner’s. The officials used different types of torture, all of which are extremely dangerous as well as effective. If a detainee is uncooperative, they loose their usual freedoms. They are denied use of the lavatories, and are forced to urinate and defecate themselves. One detainee told the officials the truth about him not being at a meeting with Osama bin Laden, and because his answer was unsatisfactory, he was forced to urinate himself.
Prisoners are also shackled to the floor during interrogations and interviews so they cannot pose a threat. There are also numerous incidents reported involving beatings of the detainees. They are beaten if they do not cooperate or if their answers are not what the officials want to hear. Because of the beatings, many detainees confess to crimes they did not even partake in. The ones who cooperate are given a lot more luxury than those who do not.
The detainees who are either new or uncooperative wear orange jumpsuits, while the others who do cooperate or given white cotton clothing. The beatings grew less frequent, and became mainly a threat, a horror to which he could be sent back at any moment when his answers were unsatisfactory. His questioners now were not ruffians in black uniforms but Party intellectuals, little rotund men with quick movements and flashing spectacles, who worked on him in relays over periods which lasted — he thought, he could not be sure — ten or twelve hours at a stretch. These other questioners saw to it that he was in constant slight pain, but it was not chiefly pain that they relied on.
They slapped his face, wrung his ears, pulled his hair, made him stand on one leg, refused him leave to urinate, shone glaring lights in his face until his eyes ran with water; but the aim of this was simply to humiliate him and destroy his power of arguing and reasoning. Their real weapon was the merciless questioning that went on and on, hour after hour, tripping him up, laying traps for him, twisting everything that he said, convicting him at every step of lies and self-contradiction until he began weeping as much from shame as from nervous fatigue. (Page 264, Part 3, Chapter 2). ‘”We have beaten you, Winston. We have broken you up. You have seen what your body is like. Your mind is in the same state. I do not think there can be much pride left in you. You have been kicked and flogged and insulted, you have screamed with pain, you have rolled on the floor in your own blood and vomit. You have whimpered for mercy, you have betrayed everybody and everything. Can you think of a single degradation that has not happened to you? ”(Part 3, Chapter 3).
Just like in the novel, the official’s beat and torture the prisoner’s until they just completely give up, and confess to whatever they are told to. Winston is tortured until he can take no more, and confess to acts he had no idea even happened. “Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside of you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and than we shall fill you with ourselves. A major part of the process of breaking one’s will down is attacking their mental state. Psychological warfare plays a huge part in the torture being done at Guantanamo. The lights are kept on all day and night, confusing the detainees. This can confuse them and allows them to loose track of time very easily. They are also strapped down, and forced to listen to loud rock music while the lights flicker. Verbal abuse is also used, detainees are told they are worthless, dogs have more social status then them, and their religions are attacked in order to agitate them.
Officials prevent revolts and gangs by monitoring them, as well as not allowing them to speak in groups of more than three. Just like the reason for the beatings, the use of this type of torture is to break down the detainees will. Once they are mentally and psychically abused, they have no choice but to accept whatever they are being told. The use of this kind of torture is devastating to the psychical and mental health of the people in the camp. The reason the abuse has been able to continue is because of the confidentiality used, and we now know of the abuse because of interviews and examinations.
The only people who know of the true chilling details are the commander of the bay, and the people who work for him. Lawyers who come to visit and talk to the prisoner’s are under strict orders. They cannot repeat or hint at anything they see taking place at Guantanamo, and because of that no one knows what truly occurs. To make matters worse, the U. S. Government claims that there is no abuse being held at the center. Whenever another rumor springs up, they are quick to get out and shoot it down. Talking about what goes on does happen though.
The only time it does is when personal involved in the bay are there. In the novel, Orwell says, “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened- that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death”- (page 32, book 1, chapter 3). That quote shows how terrifying it is to know that the government can say something never happened, and the public believing everything they say. This privacy and power are what allows the U. S. , as well as The Party, to continue on with what they do without being able to be stopped.
Just like in the novel, only the Inner Party members know of the true details of Room 101, as well as the ministries. The only reason we know of what goes on at Guantanamo is because of inspections, and mostly interviews with released detainees from the camp. Most detainees do not speak of what happened, but thankfully a few have. One such person is Mohamed al-Kahtani. He has reported that prostitutes have been brought in to seduce Muslims, as well as female officers. He spoke about the officials bringing in a dog to show how obedient and loyal it is.
They told him that he needs to be like the canine, and made him bark to crawl around so he can “raise his social status”. Another helpful person was Shafiq Rasul, who after three month’s at Guatanamo was charged with the 9/11 planning. They accused him of meeting with Osama bin Laden due to the fact a man standing behind bin Laden resembled him. After telling them the truth that it was not he, the torture began. After months of abuse, he finally gave in and falsely admitted to being at the meeting. We know of all this because of the detainees telling us first hand experience.
The only reason we know of what goes on in Room 101 is because of Winston telling us. If it wasn’t for the detainees and Winston, we would not know for sure what takes place in Room 101 and Guatanamo Bay. Although one is a novel and the other is a military camp, they both contain extremely dangerous characteristics. Guantanamo Bay is basically the real life Oceania for people under suspicion of terrorism. The use of torture, psychological attacks, and breaking down a prisoner’s will are all similar to the novel. Even the small details of not being allowed to urinate and keeping the lights on all day are the same as the novel.
Not only torture, but the secrecy of the whole operation is exactly the same as 1984. Keeping it within the Bay is the same as the Party keeping it within the Party. The prisoner’s of both Oceania and Guantanamo never know how long they will be kept, or what is going to happen to them. The use of torture is sickening and very much inhumane. But even so, it is one of the most effective ways to get someone to talk. In both Oceania and Guantanamo Bay, torture is used to break down one’s will in order for complete obedience.