WASHINGTON – The State Department advised representatives of foreign governments that their interviews with their citizens being held at Guantanamo Bay would be recorded, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Shortly after the 2002 opening of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the U.S. began allowing delegations from other countries to interrogate terrorism suspects being held there.
In cables sent to the foreign countries, the State Department wrote, "The United States will video tape and sound record the interviews between representatives of your government and the detainee(s) named above." The Post acquired the cables through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, a Defense Department spokesman, told the Post it was not "standard operating procedure" to record such interrogations. "If videotapes were made, they were likely used for translators to transcribe and/or for intelligence officers to clarify their notes after the fact," Gordon said.
George Brent Mickum IV, a Washington lawyer who has represented some of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, told the Post, ""There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these tapes did in fact exist."
Last month, lawyers for Canadian-born terrorism suspect Omar Khadr released videotapes of their client being interrogated by Canadian intelligence agents at Guantanamo in 2003. Gordon, the Pentagon spokesman, said the video was made by U.S. authorities and turned over to Khadr's defense team.