US Warned It Would Tape Visits With Gitmo Detainees

Attorneys long foiled in attempts to gain access; could confirm abuse allegations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 11:31 AM CDT
A sign marks one of the entrances to the detention center, at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, in Cuba, July 23, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Foreign intelligence and law-enforcement teams visiting their citizens being held at Guantanamo Bay were warned by the Bush administration that video and sound from the sessions might be recorded, the Washington Post reports. If true, it means the military could have tapes of dozens of discussions detainees have claimed were abusive—tapes it hasn’t turned over to defense lawyers despite repeated efforts.

The administration has denied those requests, giving no indication that the tapes exist. The Pentagon denies taping was a regular practice, and claims it was done both to protect prisoners and help in intelligence-gathering. “If videotapes were made, they were likely used for translators to transcribe and/or for intelligence officers to clarify their notes after the fact,” a spokesman said.