By Clive Stafford Smith
Los Angeles Times
October 5, 2007
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — I am writing from the Combined Bachelors’ Quarters on the leeward side of Guantanamo Bay. Particularly in the age of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it is a strange name for a military barracks. Yet the irony of this place runs deep, as does the tragedy. The base motto is “Honor Bound to Defend Freedom,” even though my clients, who are prisoners in the detention center, have none.
I’ve been here meeting with them this week, but I can’t tell you what anyone has told me, as it must all go through the censors. It does not matter that the topic may be as innocuous as Speedo swimwear, for each word is considered a potential threat to national security. (Why would a lawyer talk about Speedos? Because, a few weeks ago, a commander alleged that I smuggled in Speedos and Under Armour underwear to one client, apparently so he could paddle around in the only pool available to him, his privy.)
Most of the secrecy in Guantanamo involves suppressing bad news about the base rather than anything that should really be classified. But I obey the rules or I go to jail, so until I get permission, I can only write about what I see, not what is said.
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