3 October 2004

Guantanamo has 'failed to prevent terror attacks'

Prisoner interrogations at Guantánamo Bay, the controversial US military detention centre where guards have been accused of brutality and torture, have not prevented a single terrorist attack, according to a senior Pentagon intelligence officer who worked at the heart of the US war on terror.

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Christino, who retired last June after 20 years in military intelligence, says that President George W Bush and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have 'wildly exaggerated' their intelligence value.

Christino's revelations, to be published this week in Guantánamo: America's War on Human Rights, by British journalist David Rose, are supported by three further intelligence officials. Christino also disclosed that the 'screening' process in Afghanistan which determined whether detainees were sent to Guantánamo was 'hopelessly flawed from the get-go'.

The world did not change on 9 September 2001. The War on Terror may have made governments more anxious for intelligence, but that does not mean the exceptional methods authorised by the US now work if they did not before. Really, this just more of the magical thinking that says defeat will not happen because it is unthinkable.

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