An exterior shot of Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Delta camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Attorneys defending the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and four others accused of being involved have asked to be incarcerated “for two nights in the Guantanamo prison in order to understand the conditions in which their clients are held.”
The government objected to the request, saying it “could endanger the lives of those involved in such a visit.” Officials offered an escorted tour instead.
One of the military defense lawyers, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Bogucki, compared the government’s offer to the “jungle ride at Disneyland” where visitors believe the mechanical elephant is real. He said he wanted a “full and meaningful inspection.”
None of the defence lawyers have ever seen inside the prison, Camp 7, where detainees captured and tortured by the CIA – including Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times – are held.
David Nevin, a lawyer for Mohammed, said he wants to visit Camp 7 in order to understand his client’s “behaviour and his actions in open court, and also his reaction to his current conditions of confinement.” He said it was necessary “particularly in the context of a person who was tortured”.
The military judge, Colonel James Pohl, expressed surprise at the request, asking another lawyer if he wanted to sleep with his client. The lawyer, Commander Walter Ruiz, said he intended to sleep in a nearby cell.