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I. Invitation to Cuba

II. The Psychology of Terrorists

III. Drexel University

IV. November 8, 2006

V. The Psychology of Captivity

VI. The Psychology of Prisons

VII. The Psychology of War

VIII. Preparations

IX. 1934

X. November 13, 2006

XI. Takeoff

XII. In The Air

XIII. Arrival at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

XIV. Briefing at Headquarters of the Joint Task Force

XV. Lunch

XVI. Guard Duty

XVII. Camp Delta

XVIII. Medical Treatment

XIX. Behavioral Services

XX. Camp 5

XXI. Departure from Guantanamo Bay

The Legitimacy of GTMO: An Eyewitness Report, Page 20

A Travel Journal by Dr. Eric A. Zillmer
Pacifico Professor of Psychology at Drexel University

Camp 5

Finally, we are led to examine the interrogation facilities in Camp 5, a new 16 million dollar maximum-security facility. First we are shown the air conditioned cells and then the interrogation rooms, which include a lounge chair, surveillance cameras, and room for two individuals, a translator and the interrogator. In fact, the detainees speak over 30 different languages and 40 different dialects, although about 50% of the detainees are said to understand and/or speak English. Since it is important that detainees understand the rules of the camp, translators are important and always available.

Finally, we meet those that are responsible for the interrogations. The VIPs fire away with their questions. “Do you cuff the detainees during interrogations,” “Yes, if they are a risk to us, but many are only cuffed at the ankle, if they are cooperative.” “Do you apply any force or physical pressure to elicit information?” “No, unless you find the question ‘Are you better off here or at a Gulag in the Soviet Union’ abusive.” Many questions and concerns were directed to the psychologist and the use of a psychologist in interrogations. The Behavioral Science Consultants are qualified in behavioral sciences and are assigned exclusively to provide consultative services during intelligence activities. They do not participate in the interrogation, we are told, but rather observe the procedure and may provide insight or consultation about the interrogation, such as an interpretation of body language and other behavioral attributes that are observed.

The intelligence arm of the Joint Task Force were the only personnel that day that seemed just a little bit defensive, which is probably not unusual for those who have worked with intelligence operations. For example, when I asked the chief interrogator when a detainee loses their value as an intelligence source after having been incarcerated for years, the answer was a Hegel like “Well, we never really know what we don't know.” Others were interested in whether the interrogations are recorded, since there is video surveillance. In response to that question we were told that the technology of taping so many videos would not be practical. One could always go back and ask the detainee again.