In the thirteen months I was in Cuba, I was interrogated ten to twelve times. I was interrogated in a separate room and always alone. I would be brought there, and my legs would be shackled to a chair. One or two Americans in plain clothes interviewed me. A typical interrogation consisted of questions about my family, education record, language skills, background …what I intended to do in the future… purpose of my missionary activity… who funded it … what I was doing in Afghanistan … The sessions lasted between one and two hours each and I was asked questions the whole time.
Even more horrifying:
For Afghan detainee Shah Mohammed Alikhil, who does not allege actual or threatened ill-treatment during interrogation, it was the repetition of the interrogations, and the absence of any prospect of resolution thereby, that was stressful:
My first interrogation started at the end of my first month of imprisonment in Cuba. Three Americans with a translator interrogated me. They asked me the same thing [as before, during incarceration in Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar prior to transfer to Guantanamo] and did not tell me anything else. There was no torture or mistreatment. The second interrogation started a month after the first interrogation. No new questions were asked this time again. And some months later I was interrogated again, without any sign of progress in my case, and again no new questions were asked. I was exhausted and tired of living like that. I was hearing noises and seeing ghosts [hallucinating].
Sounds like my trip this summer where I helped my brother and sister-in-law in their move from San Diego to Denver. I drove the plush mini-van complete with DVD player so my sister-in-love could sit in back with the 3 kiddos. Hearing again and again those same questions: “When are we going to be there?” and “What town are we in?”, the stress, the strain. Hearing Roadrunner dropping a bomb on the Coyote, over and over and over again…. I was close to hallucinations myself.
But wait, there’s no end to the diabolical devices of torture at Camp Delta when just this past Friday we learned of the most dastardly torture device of all – The Comfy Chair!
Aside from a large metal ring in the floor for securing shackles, and a big red button on the wall labeled Duress, the room looks like a teacher's lounge. It has white cement-block walls and a concrete floor, but a large Persian rug softens the bleak appearance. There's a coffee maker (Starbucks Barista Quattro), a television, and a DVD player. Three black office chairs face a dark wood coffee table and a plush blue La-Z-Boy chair.
Today the detainees who are still interrogated regularly—about 25 percent of the camp's population, say officials—apparently nestle into a recliner.
We have met the enemy and he is us. Have we completely stopped making sense?