Guantanamo Bay detainee escorted for medical care Photo credit: U.S. Navy / Wikimedia

Donald Trump's comments about rounding up Muslims and keeping Muslims out of the country are not so far-fetched in light of what happened after 9/11. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is filled with internees who have never been charged with a crime. WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman talks with the editor of a diary written by one of Gitmo’s longest-serving prisoners.

Fourteen years after 9/11, Guantanamo Bay remains a repository for suspects rounded up in the government’s post-attack frenzy.

While many have been released, and President Barack Obama has promised repeatedly to close Gitmo, a significant number still held there have not been charged with anything — yet have suffered deprivation, prolonged interrogation, torture.

One of them is Mohamedou Slahi. An electrical engineer arrested two weeks after 9/11, he managed to keep a diary that captures the horror of life at Guantanamo.

Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary was edited by Larry Siems, who served for many years as director of the Freedom to Write Programs for PEN USA, and PEN American Center in New York.

The diary — a very personal, vivid, and compelling story — has just now become available in paperback. Here Siems talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about this on-going miscarriage of justice.

Please go here to read WhoWhatWhy’s excerpts from the diary, “The Politics of Surviving Guantánamo.”

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Related front page panorama photo credit: Joint Task Force Guantanamo (SOUTHCOM), Guantánamo Diary cover (Little, Brown and Company) and Camp Delta, Detainees at Camp X-Ray (U.S. Navy / Wikimedia)


  • Jeff Schechtman

    Jeff Schechtman’s career spans movies, radio stations and podcasts. After spending twenty-five years in the motion picture industry as a producer and executive, he immersed himself in journalism, radio, and more recently the world of podcasts. To date he has conducted over ten-thousand interviews with authors, journalists, and thought leaders. Since March of 2015, he has conducted over 315 podcasts for

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