In Guantanamo (2009) 

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David Miller

Guantanamo naval base, "Gitmo", covers forty five square miles of Cuba inside an area under a controversial 'permanent lease' to the United States. Since 2002, the base has become synonymous with its detainment facilities for suspected terrorists. Although Barack Obama has given orders for the detention camp to be closed, the facilities remain open to this day. David Miller's quiet, powerful film is the result of three days the filmmaker spent touring the camps in May 2008 as part of a small group of media representatives allowed there. Although the event was presented as a chance to 'see inside' the working of Guantanamo, it was in fact a carefully staged PR exercise designed to yield predictable, stale, controlled media images.

David Miller

After making tea for six months in an edit house in London, I got a job working for Hardcash Productions, a small production company that specialises in current affairs and documentaries. I worked as a junior researcher on several films for Channel 4's current affairs strand Dispatches. I then went freelance and worked on films for Broadcasters like the BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera English. I currently find myself involved in numerous interesting projects and developments and I'm very grateful to the VODO team for their support.

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on November 09, 2009 at 1:55pm

Ok, this is why half of the world hate americans. Just look at this posts here and you will see that on every post saying states had too much wars you say "we are dying for you so that you can stay home enjoying life". Well guess what WE DONT NEED YOUR HELP! This is the problem with americans that you always want to help, but you dont know how making more crap than you would do if you kept aside. E.g. in former USSR, America openly supported Afghanistans. Heck, you even made Rambo movie about them. 20 years later - 9/11. This is how terrorists send their regards i guess...


on November 09, 2009 at 8:43am

Women had the guaranteed right to vote in 1920, more than twice what some uninformed leftist claimed earlier. And further, that was simply when they had a guaranteed right backed by a federal constitutional amendment. In fact many states had established voting rights for women much much earlier. The amendment simply codified that right and made it nationally uniform, much like the amendment that established a uniform voting age later on.

And to those who say we "stole" the "Palestinians" land, you are uninformed. There as never any nation or people called Palestinians, before or after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The jews didn't displace anyone, because the land in question was not permanently settled by anyone, it was nomadic land, occupied by about 120,000 people. Most of those people were in fact residing in what is now Jordan, which is the closest thing to a "Palestinian land" that has ever existed.

For 19 years the area in question was jointly occupied by Egypt and Jordan, and during that whole time, not one mention was ever made of anything called a "Palestine" or "Palestinian" because no such type of place or people existed.

They were never a separate people or nation, but because of the creation of the state of Israel, it became convenient for the Arabs to create that fiction in order to justify their aggression and hate and efforts to wipe Israel off the map.

And to those who say America stole the land from the so called Palestinians, it wasn't America, it was Great Britan, who was the controlling power of that section of the former Ottoman Empire. It was Great Britain which came up with the White Paper which allowed Jewish immigration into that area.

And how far back should "historical property rights" go to establish who should control any region? Because remember, the land in question was not always under Arab control either.

For those who complain about Gitmo, and say these people are "innocent" or "not guilty of anything" you forget these people were by and large foreigners captured on Afghan soil. By and large they are not native Afghanis, they were un-uniformed, unlawful combatants under every precept of international law that exists. They traveled across international borders to unlawfully engage in acts of war against a military that was engaging in a lawful war. The only prisoners caught in Iraq or elsewhere that are housed there are those who have been wanted for specific acts of terrorism.

And the fact is that when we have been compassionate and released some of those who were not going to face criminal proceedings, many of them have gone on to commit acts of terror again, including one prisoner who committed a suicide bombing after traveling to Iraq after being released to his home country. The suicide attack killed 7 people and wounded 28 in May of last year. More than a dozen other former detainees have been linked to such attacks. Under international law we don't have to afford them the protections of the geneva convention, and while we officially do not give that protection, the treatment they receive is still held to that standard or better.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your Anti-American proselytizing.

For what it is worth, I thought the movie this page was supposed to be presenting was a decently made piece presenting the filmmaker's view of the subject, one that I while I don't agree with, or think the facts support, I can respect.


on November 06, 2009 at 5:08pm

Wow, there are a lot of trolls in these comments! Let me be the minority and say "thank you for making this film. Thank you for sharing it with the community. I look forward to downloading it, viewing it and making a donation."



on November 06, 2009 at 4:59pm

If we have never stolen the Palestinians' land, 9/11 never would have happened. It says it in the Bible, "Thou shalt not steal", and America stole. Now we are paying the price.


on November 06, 2009 at 10:16am

I don't know if it's just me but approaching the conversational topics within this thread is difficult. Mainly because many of you are implicating various sciences and studies that go far more in depth than the explanations I've read thus far state. So instead of writing a thesis on the ideas presented I will just give my opinion on the U.S. itself. I believe that no one is free as stated by another earlier, but as far as the idea of a political body is concerned America has more slack on the people. I say that in comparison to many of the other developed countries of the world. For instance even though Vietnam shut the media off from reporting much of the truth we still have more new stations voicing their opinion. Although in my mind much of the reported "news" is rubbish in any country, but I shall refrain from veering off topic. The web is also a large influential medium in which information can be learned and shared. Many of the servers we have available in the country do not regulate such information like other nations. Although the web itself is changing and becoming policed I can still say its free for now, maybe not in ten years though. I also believed that people want to feel the comfort of being secure by an invisible source that protects them from the horrors of our imagination. The funny concept the appears to me is that when we can barely see what government is doing we feel its weak, when we see everything we think it's too strong. There is a fragile balance any government needs to maintain between what the people should and need to see. But to cut this short since I need to finish my project. The U.S. isn't all that bad in retrospect to the idea of government, but don't believe anything because what is true now will be a lie tomorrow.

Oh and on the note of Guantanamo, everyone needs to realize that is just one facility of thousands around the world. Every country has a torture facility and I'm sure that just like Area 51 this place is just a decoy. When the government wants something hidden it stays hidden.


on November 06, 2009 at 8:40am

America has a constitution, it is a set of principles that when enforced is noble and is what makes America great. To set aside our principles because of fear makes us hypocrites and no better than those we call the enemy.


on November 06, 2009 at 6:38am

@knightpremier Women have had the right to vote for more than twice the period that you claim. Ever since the nineteenth amendment was signed into effect in 1920, this right has been a federal law.

Try checking some facts before ranting about things you cannot even begin to understand.


on November 06, 2009 at 2:18am

It is true about WWII being a defensive war, but there's still the fact that had America not joined the war the Axis powers could very well have prevailed. They already had Europe by the balls. But that is all in the past. Basically, all I was trying to get across is that we're not all idiots. Am I correct in assuming you yourself are American? And yes, I did totally overlook the democratic republic vs. pure democracy aspect. My bad.

At any rate, the only way to change the way this country works is to show the "Republic" that the people are in control, not the government. We are the ones who should be shaping policy, not elected officials who refuse to listen to the people who elected them, such as Dan Burton here in Indiana. That man is a complete control freak who refuses to listen to his district. Trust me, I've met the man twice, and there are hundreds congressmen/women who are exactly the same. That's why I respect Dr. Ron Paul so much (though not some of his more radical ideas): he listens to his district and votes based on what the people there want.

Basically, we need some fucking honesty. Otherwise, America is completely doomed. I'm sick and tired of working my ass off just to watch half of my paycheck disappear down the beaurocratic tube, and the other half get spent on insurance companies ridiculous rates. This is getting out of hand. The sickest thing of all is that neither party, Republican or Democrat, seems to give a rats ass about the people. All they care about is getting elected so they can suckle the sweet teat of the lobbyist. It's sickening.


on November 06, 2009 at 1:10am

It's all a charade. There is no real US government, merely puppets playing out a predetermined play. The true power lies with the banks and the global corporations.

Anyone who thinks they are 'free' in America is sorely mistaken. The laws set up to prevent terrorism have actually been put in place to restrict the freedoms of the people. If you think differently it's only because you believe what they tell you and fall for all the propaganda pumped though the media outlets.

Truth, justice and the American way? No such thing, there never has been. America is responsible for more deaths worldwide over the last fifty years than ALL other nations put together. That is the American way.

9/11 was an inside job, undertaken to give an excuse for foreign wars and create a 'monster' to scare the people now that 'reds' had become friends. If the populace are kept in a state of fear, they are compliant - they don't ask questions and trust the government. Just how they like it.

Do you really think that some men in caves in Afghanistan could hatch a plan against the country with largest defence and intelligence budgets in the world? Of course not.

Here's what will happen next. The economies of the world will fail again, except this time it will be terminal. From the ashes of this disaster will rise a new world currency and a one world government. It is already close. It will appear to be a socialist state, the answer to the suffering around the world. Instead it will make us all prisoners, serving unknown masters whilst everything is done in the name of the state. Nothing that upsets the balance will be tolerated, and justice will be swift and merciless.

This is your future unless you change it. The way to do this is to learn the truth. Don't believe what you are told, go and find out for yourself. You'll be surprised what's been going on behind your back all this time.


on November 06, 2009 at 1:09am

ACTUally JADE, other countries have a much older history when it comes to injustice, and racism, and genocide.. although im not saying that america is any better, america is really not that old compared to other countries around the world... you should really do some proper research instead of posting some link from which is a terrible source of information. By the way, to call a whole country ignorant and brainwashed doesn't express nothing but ignorance and narrow-mindedness on your own part. Think before you speak. Dumbass.


on November 06, 2009 at 12:16am

subtitles anyone?


on November 05, 2009 at 10:22pm

@ knightpremier
"Women only achieved the right to vote 40 years ago in the USA (...) No, the US does not have a clean record on these issues."
I may be outmatched here since i suck at english, but I'm still gonna try.
Its a solid fact that the USA its an example of democracy althout not a plain democratic governament system. And I say that because I live on a 3rd world country and visited many more, were we are not heard at all. You should be proud that your women's are voting for 40 years now, because the Brazilians voted for their first president about 20 years ago. And even now the political process its more like a cover up, just like in the rest of south america and, I dare to say, the majority of the world.

"The USA DID screw the world economy"
Well, there is such a thing as to 'screw' the economy? Doesn't the economy follow a cyclical behavior that, sometimes, crash into a world crisis? Thats the 'creative destruction', we pay that price for a free and globalized economy.

"The US has not engaged in a defensive war since WWII."
If you picture defence as retaliation and guard of the national borders you are probably right, but defece goes far beyond that. And as a superpower the United States have the burden to take care of more than their own borders. The Iraq war turned out to be a huge mistake, yes, but there were solid evidence that they had weapons that could make a much bigger mess, damn, you guys gave it to them!
If the USA hasn't engaged on a huge deterrence and offensive process during the years that followed WWII, communism, which is an economical and social mistake, would have taken over the world and we would be in a much worse shape right now.

Dirty, racist and close minded? I'm hispanic, poor, and black skinned... Please tell me how could i be racist?
Thats the modern facism, label as "racist, close minded and dirty" anything you desagree but can't/dont want to argue about.


on November 05, 2009 at 10:13pm

Sorry for my english,
Where is Osama, Mr. Bush...? in the mountains...or in Guantanamo, or are you playing golf with him once and a while...
Why Iraq? when he was in the mountains...o yes !!! almost forgot nuclear weapons...riiiight,riiiight stupid me.... as far I can recollect the only chemical weapons used came from the Americans on iraqi people, 1000's of mutilated new born islamic childeren in Iraq..."god bless the united states of America and all it's christians...Hmmm what am I forgetting in iraq, uuhm riiiight oil, the black gold....let's forget the mountains for a while and the victims killed on 9/11...they where the inevitable sacrifieces who had to be made to get to the black gold....shhht don't talk to loud, people can hear you. Off course Americans also got better from the whole terrorist thing, they got new homeland security laws, nice to feel safe...when any moment any fed or other corrupt bureau can invade your house and abduct you to Guantanamo...THANKS BUSH WE LOVE YOU and all your right winged republics. The only thing republics created is US and THEM, polarizing the midfield, choose a side, I quote: "you are either with us or against us, either way we will prevail" DAMN I miss these speeches of Bush.
People please stop thinking you live in a democracy, such thing DO NOT exist...only gouverments with good and bad intensions exist, and lately we have more and more with bad intensions. The only democratic aparatus in this era is the internet created by a "Belgian" scientist. (this is a citizen of a country in Europe for all your Americans :)) Please wake up and smell the ashes, the power lies with the people not with your gouverments, if you all stay lame bastards sitting in front of television and believing what all your gouverments tell you....we are FUCKED and a NEW WORLD ORDER will be a world gouverment, with laws compared with the Chinese laws of today.


on November 05, 2009 at 9:28pm


on November 05, 2009 at 9:27pm

AGREE with you, We have to know that Dirty people, close mind and Racists..are every where.


on November 05, 2009 at 9:17pm


Not this crap agian

on November 05, 2009 at 8:52pm

So Grapevine, you want to send the Bush Family and their elitist friends to Gitmo. Grand idea, I'm all for that. Why is it that none of the detainees have been charged with ANYTHING and most have been released without reason. Great legal system there in the good ol' U.S. of EH? Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass and stop relying on FAUX snews network for you only source of information you mindless drone. BORN ON EARTH.


on November 05, 2009 at 7:59pm

@Tourniquette : The USA is a republic with democratic elements, not a true democracy. For example, even though the majority of Americans support National Healthcare, it doesn't exist, you can only vote on what the republic allows you to vote on. In a true democracy, we could vote on whether or not to close Gitmo. Also:Through WWI the USA helped create a starving Germany that lead to Hitler. In WWII the USA only became involved after being attacked, and decided to save itself, helping Europe was a side-effect. After the war, they divided up the Arab world to their liking (leading to current problems with Islamists), and began a 50+ year nuclear standoff that threatens the existence of every living creature on the planet. I could go on, though I credit you for your comments on Obama etc, no not every American is a fascist ultra-national.

@ rgc: "If you compare to the rest of the world, i would say that America have a pretty clean record on that matter. "

The united states had divided busses for blacks/whites too, we burned many American Indians and erradicated many tribes before placing the survivors on useless patches of land called Reservations. Women only achieved the right to vote 40 years ago in the USA. No, the US does not have a clean record on these issues.
"do you know anything about economy" He may not, but I do. The USA DID screw the world economy. Foreigners are heavily invested in the US, and when US assets lose value or collapse, the reprocussions are felt world-wide.
"some people fight so you can sit at home complaining" The US has not engaged in a defensive war since WWII.

@Laid2rest: You make some excellent points and use the correct examples to point out fallacies in the claims surrounding Gitmo, but people may take you more seriously if you dont use so much profanity. You have a good head on your shoulders dont sell yourself short.


on November 05, 2009 at 7:48pm

LAID2REST - I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the word is "because", not "becuz", "someone" and not "sum1". "Osama" is spelled with an "O", not a "U". Capital letters are always nice to have at the start of a sentence. FYI, this little guy right here "." is a period. It is used to close one thought and distinguished the start of a new.

Just wanted to give you a few tips that will allow your useless rambles appear to have some intelligence greater then an instant message chat.


on November 05, 2009 at 7:16pm

"americans have the worst and ugliest record in history! black/white racism, mexican immigrants abuses.. "
Well, South-Africa used to have separated buses for black citizens very recently, we burn indians here in Brazil, women can have their opinion on Iran... If you compare to the rest of the world, i would say that America have a pretty clean record on that matter.

"screwing world economy"
Thats pretty childish to say. Do you know anything at all about economy?

"don't forget the long list of wars"
Yeah, some people have to die and fight so you can safely stay at home complaining...

"check it here:"
Ooooooh, now im convinced! Duh...

"worst they are ignorant and what supposed to be their brain is controlled by the mainstream media, after the invasion of Iraq and abu ghraib scandal + guantanamo .. america lost its makeup and revealed its ugly face!"
Again, who's brain is controlled by the media? You are just following the anti-american fashion :)