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"[Redacted] was a very radical hater. He completely changed the detention policies in GTMO in all aspects. [Redacted]." In his book Guantánamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi recounts his fourteen years of imprisonment at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Unfortunately, the United States government heavily redacted Slahi’s narrative, justifying it as a protection of identity and national security. However, in the restored version of Slahi’s book, some of the redactions raise concerns about the capricious nature of the United States’ censorship regime. The redacted quote from above names General Miller as an authoritative figure within Guantánamo who used his power to violate the inherent rights of detainees. Slahi recalls, “I personally don’t know what he told them, but as someone on the receiving end of his orders, I definitely felt the pain” (59). The purposeful removal of Miller’s name could be a protection of identity, but it also protects him from being held accountable as an abuser. The redactions present in this quote appear to be an attempt to hide the corruption taking place within Guantánamo, raising questions about what the government seeks to accomplish through censorship. This research study aims to gain an understanding of the United States’ censorship regime through an analysis of the federal government’s secrecy privileges, including the state secrets privilege and the exemptions outlined within the Freedom of Information Act. Through a comparison of these privileges against the redactions within Guantánamo Diary, this project challenges the government’s use of censorship as an attempt to avoid accountability for the abuses at Guantánamo Bay.



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The Literary Remnants of Torture: An Examination of the United States Censorship Regime