Michelle Shephard has traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, more than two dozen times and has been following the stories of men who've been released from the U.S. detention center. She's the author of Guantanamo's Child and Decade of Fear: Reporting From Terrorism's Grey Zone.
The filmmaker's documentary The Oath tells the story of two men who both worked for Osama bin Laden and then wound up in incredibly different spots: One drives a taxicab in Yemen, while the other sits in solitary confinement at Guantanamo. Poitras how she gained access to the story -- and why questions still remain about the film's protagonist.
Clive Stafford Smith is one of just a few people who've had independent access to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. He's a human rights lawyer representing dozens of the prisoners held there, and he says countless innocent men have been held at Gitmo for years with no meaningful review of the accusations against them. Many of them, he says, have suffered terrible abuse.
In Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice in Guantanamo Bay, Smith details the abuses and absurdities of life inside the legal black hole of the prison camp.
Earlier on today's Fresh Air, we heard from Clive Stafford Smith. He's a defense attorney who charges in a new book that numerous innocent men have been held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo for years with no meaningful review of the accusations against them.
For a different perspective, we're speaking with Capt. Pat McCarthy, the U.S. government's lead counsel in Guantanamo.
Civil rights lawyer Joseph Margulies' new book is Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power. Margulies has represented several prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, and he believes that current U.S. policy is a legal and ethical disaster. He says that few new prisoners are arriving at Guantanamo, but the population at Bagram prison in Afghanistan is growing rapidly.
Attorney Richard Samp is the chief counsel for the Washington Legal Foundation, an organization that has been urging the U.S. Court of Appeals to dismiss challenges to detentions at Guantanamo. He has said, "Throughout our history, the courts have never allowed nonresident aliens to invoke the Constitution as a basis for challenging their detention by American authorities."
Ted Conover is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. He went to Guantanamo Bay to report on the detention of suspected jihadists and terrorists there. He has written about it in the June 29th edition of The New York Times Magazine, "In the Land of Guantanamo." Previously, Conover spent a year as a prison guard inside New York State's infamous Sing Sing prison to experience first hand the conditions within a prison. He wrote about it in his book, Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing.