In 2005 I was given access by the Pentagon to spend three days at the Guantanamo prison in Guantanamo Cuba. Due to unforeseen circumstances I had the chance to visit the facilities as a single reporter – instead of being part of the usual media tour given to a large group of reporters. I was able to interview the top leaders for the base as well as the prison operations, I witnessed an Administrative Review Board Hearing of the alleged former “Finance minister” of the Taliban and was given an in depth tour of the prison facilities. Visiting Guantanamo had a surreal quality – while the Guantanamo prison has cast a dark shadow on US politics for a long time to come, life on the base was as ordinary as one could imagine. The soldiers were quite generous in extending their cameraderie to a visiting journalist like me and I never figured out if this was just a smart calculation by Pentagon media strategists or the pure boredom of life on an isolated military base. I guess it was both.
Apart from a newsstory for Deutsche Welle TV, I produced the documentary “Guantanamo – unplugged” which received the German Video Journalism Award 2006.
Watch the 15 minute film “Guantanamo – unplugged”:
Watch just a few excerpts from “Guantanamo – unplugged”:
My 2005 Deutsche Welle TV report on Guantanamo: