Gitmo Guards Accuse the CIA of Killing Three Prisoners and Covering It Up
Gitmo Guards Accuse the CIA of Killing Three Prisoners and Covering It Up © AP Photo/ Charles Dharapak
00:00 22.01.2016(updated 03:29 22.01.2016) Get short URL
In 2006, three Gitmo detainees were found dead after hanging themselves in their cells. Sergeant Joseph Hickman, a former guard on duty the night the men died, tells Radio Sputnik that the US government’s version of events is not the true story.
On the night of June 9, 2006, Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, and Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani were found dead inside their detention block at Guantanamo Bay. No charges were brought regarding the deaths, and all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest their unjust treatment.
The US government claims the men committed suicide, but former Guantanamo guard Joseph Hickman suspects foul play.
“I was on duty that night,” Hickman tells Radio Sputnik. “I saw a paddy wagon – we called it a van – which would transport prisoners. I would see that van take three detainees from Camp One and take them to a CIA black site that was on Guantanamo.”
Hickman was in charge of 15 tower guards on the night of the incident, none of whom witnessed the purported suicides.
“None of them saw any detainee hang himself in camp 1,” Hickman said. “They would have seen all of that.”
According to Hickman, the detainees were killed because they “posed a threat to the intelligence gathering operation.”
“In 2006, we were doing roughly 200 interrogations a week in Guantanamo of detainees,” he says. “The only thing that could stop these interrogations was a detainee hunger strike.
“It is impossible for these men to have killed themselves in their cells the way the government says they did,” he stated. “Completely impossible.”
Hickman went to the Justice Department with his concerns, but officials failed to conduct an adequate investigation.
“I found a memo from Gitmo that said they only investigated for six days when they claimed two years,” Hickman said.
“The NCIS, the Justice Department…never talked to the tower guards. They would have been the ones you would have first talked to. They never talked to them at all.”
Hickman has written a book, “Murder at Camp Delta,” detailing his experience at Guantanamo Bay. Since its publication, he has heard from a number of other former Gitmo employees who have given similar accounts.
“…So many guards have come forward, thanking me for doing it [writing the book], saying they’ve always wanted to speak out about the horrors at Guantanamo.”
President Barack Obama ran for office on a promise to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great,” including closing the notorious detention and torture facility. He has failed to make good on his promise.