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Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Salahi

Guantánamo Diary

by Mohamedou Ould Salahi

Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Salahi

5 min
3 key insights
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This is the memoir of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man detained on dubious grounds by the U.S. government, and later held captive - and subjected to torture and monstrous conditions - in the brutal Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

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Guantánamo Diary

by Mohamedou Ould Salahi

Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Salahi

Overview

In the year 2000, Mohamedou Ould Slahi was returning home to his native Mauritania from a study abroad when he was detained by the U.S. government on suspicions of involvement in an al-Qaeda-linked plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport.

Although Slahi was eventually released, just one year later - amid heightened suspicion after the September 11 terror attacks - he was once again swept up by the CIA. This time, he was taken to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, where he would be held for 14 years - without charges.

For years, Slahi was subjected to constant humiliation and torture, which eventually prompted him to make a false confession. Through Slahi's accounts of his interrogators' ruthless castigations, it becomes clear that his American captors luxuriated in his humiliation, and sought to establish a sense of absolutist cultural superiority. Slahi's account paints a devastating portrait of the post-9/11 American military-intellectual complex, and shows how a mix of fear and xenophobia stoked the fires of a brutal campaign of Islamophobia.

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Favorite Quote

"Now I knew for sure that anything I wrote would only reach my interrogators, and what happens in GTMO stays in GTMO, absolutely. Even with my chains off, my hands remained shackled to my sides."

Mohamedou Ould Slahi

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Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Salahi

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