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July 5, 2006

A More Human Face On Guantanamo

Gitmo-Prisoner-1

Gitmo-Prisoner-2 Gitmo-Prisoner-3 Gitmo-Prisoner-4

(click to enlarge)

(revised 7.5.06 8:36 pm PST  — Sorry.  I wrote this so late last night, even I couldn’t understand it when I re-read it.  This should be a lot clearer….)

Facing a massive PR crisis, the Pentagon has been scrambling to put a more human face on life at Gitmo.  Initally, the goal (as previously outlined on The BAG) was simply to create more transparency.  However, in light of  the recent Supreme Court decision elevating the legal rights of the detainees, the latest batch of newswire pics — which are always closely monitored and pre-approved by the military — seem to emphasize a greater sense of the prisoner’s identity and humanity.

For the first time, for example, faces are being partially revealed.  Also, the new batch of photos show prisoners with greater space and freedom of movement — especially (see image at lower left) when it comes to prayer and religious practice.

On the surface, at least, these pictures give the feeling that Gitmo is “moderating” and coming into compliance with more standard domestic law.  The question is: how much is this truth, spin, or elements of both?

(images: Brennan Linsley. Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba June 27, 2006.  Via YahooNews.)

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