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RT pierces Gitmo censorship: ‘Transparency’ is subjective at Guantanamo Bay (VIDEO)

Published time: October 24, 2013 07:26
Edited time: October 24, 2013 19:32
Download video (36.05 MB)

Despite constant repetition of the word “transparency” by US military officials at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, RT went to the base to see first-hand the trademark obfuscation that guides the world’s view of the secretive prison.

RT’s Anastasia Churkina went to Guantanamo Bay to report on media access to the conditions at the prison. She saw for herself just how operators of the notorious prison housing supposed terror suspects - half of which have been cleared for release but are still held due to security concerns and some who have languished for years simply waiting for charges - attempt to portray a kinder, gentler Gitmo as opposed to its reputation as a legal black hole, void of consistent standards and protocols since its opening following the 9/11 attacks in the US.

Churkina reports that her experience at the camp was highly-managed, and any attempts by her or her cameraman to get a true glimpse at detainee life were quickly prevented.

“Even though transparency’s a word brought up by all the personnel we talked to on the ground, we, as journalists - access to detainees aside - are asked to be very careful about the shots we filmed, all the backdrops,” Churkina reports. “At the end of each day, videos are reviewed, and any shots deemed unacceptable are deleted.”

She says not only are audio and video censored by Gitmo personnel, but sketches are carefully studied and cell phones are outright banned.

“The said purpose of these ground rules? To protect the safety and security of Gitmo operations,” Churkina reports, saying she received a mandatory introduction to media rules called an “Operation Security Briefing.”

“We are warned violations of ground rules may result in restricted access, denial of future visits and/or removal from Guantanamo.”

RT’s only opportunity to see a detainee - through a dark-glass window - lasts barely one minute. When asking for more, she’s told by a high-ranking admiral the policy of shielding detainees from journalist is based “out of respect for them and not making them ... some curiosity on film ... we don’t want to do that.”

Churkina reports maybe the next-best insight they got into detainees’ lives occurred during their tour of Gitmo’s cafeteria and what the prisoners are fed. As for a snapshot into base life for personnel, they were taken to the local radio station for those living on the US Navy installation at the southern edge of Cuba.

“Music, sports and talk radio. Pure infotainment reigns here,” Churkina reports. “And so we learn we’re not the only ones simply being treated to a show.”

Comments (6)


Hona O Denise 24.10.2013 21:04

America would impress the old Marxist regime of Stalin.


Mike Namey 24.10.2013 20:39

I mean, I don't support the secret prisons. Just anoying to see all these world leaders tossing mud back and forth, when eah group has done the same or worse.


Mike Namey 24.10.2013 20:38

LoL And Russia is just so open about their gulags. I respect Russia, but this is becoming a petty battle of words between two dweebs.

And why does everybody bring up the Nazis here? The Red Terror killed far more people than the Nazis did. Both animals in my eyes (The leaders, not the people). Want to talk about horrible crimes, let us talk about the 60 million murdered by the Red Chinese. It's only about six times as many as the failure Nazis killed.

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