The Chart Itself Was Classified

Molly Crabapple, writing for Vice

For all their friendliness, the JTF controls what the media is allowed to see. Photos are prohibited in most places, and whenever I sketched a scene, press officers swarmed around me. The pressroom was filled with soldiers watching our laptops, listening to us talk. US cell phones don’t get service at Gitmo. There’s a sticker on all the landline receivers inside the compound: use of this telephone constitutes consent to monitoring. Badges that read military escort at all times are required to be worn at all times. We were given them inside something called a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, which is plastered with propaganda posters. One features a woman in a ski mask pointing a gun straight ahead; underneath it reads: keep talking, we’re listening. practice opsec [operations security]. I took notes on the back of a pamphlet listing banned items. The security officer inspected my notes, worried that I copied a classification chart. Like so much of Guantánamo, the chart itself was classified.

The fight over the Guantánamo Bay prison camps has been going on for more than a decade—opening them, maintaining them, closing them. At this point, I assume that everyone knows where they stand on the issue, so I won't try and change your mind. All I'll say is this—read this piece. Just to be sure.