The Guantanamo Guidebook

The Guantanamo GuidebookBritish Channel 4 engaged the Team Delta Cadre to recreate the Guantanamo Bay interrogation experience.

At the production company's request, along with Team Delta's normal approach to interrogation, the cadre also reenacted several specific events reported to have occurred at Guantanamo.

In most cases these reenacted events were counter productive to the interrogation plan developed by Team Delta - a plan that had learned 80% of the requested intelligence within the first few hours of capture.

Prisoner 73 on his experience: Total deprivation of sleep, food and water, exposure to extreme heat and cold, up to 20 minutes in stress positions, up to 2 hours listening to white noise... plus any other interrogation technique deemed acceptable by the interrogation team' By any standards the waiver I signed for "Guantanamo Guidebook" was special, and two weeks later when I was lying naked, shaved, shackled in a ball on the floor, alone with a hood over my head, listening to white noise with a cold fan at my back, I realized just how superficial the term 'informed consent' can be.

Two weeks earlier I had received an e-mail looking for students who would be willing to participate in a Channel Four documentary investigating US interrogation practices for Terror detainees held in Cuba.

I was to be one of seven male volunteers from various backgrounds – three Muslims: a father of two, a youth worker, and a recent graduate; plus Britain's fittest Fireman, a triathlete, Britain's Thai Kickboxing Champion and me, a plucky Oxford undergraduate finalist in philosophy and politics.

The test was to see how we fared in a simulation of up to 60 hours under a team of retired US army interrogators, led by a founding member of Delta Force, who used the techniques officially sanctioned for Guantanamo detainees to extract information about us and make us confess to the scenarios we had acted out with the production company the week before. We were to withhold information and endure.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist)

Ratings: 8.11/10 from 18 users.

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58 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Ed

    It's simple enough. It's a dangerous world and the US government responsibility is to US interests not to detainees. When a superior method of information extraction is developed (drug-based perhaps) it should, and most likely will, be adopted.

    As far as getting sent there goes, if captured on a battlefield you have no rights. If "sold to US forces by warlords," etc. that is another matter...and should require a higher standard of reasonable suspicion.

    Lastly as some have complained about US military impunity, it is my understanding that the US military still cannot claim "just following orders" and are still liable under UCMJ to refuse any illegal order. I won't argue "cloak of secrecy," etc. but believe in principle it is possible to refuse such orders and be tried for doing unlawful things.

    On the other hand, good luck with such prosecutions while the likes of ISIS and the European terror incidents continue running around.

  2. Scott

    Every person involved with Guantanamo Bush,Rumsfeld,Cheney all the way down to the man that stood out side the gate should be held accountable for war crimes. No one should be able to say they were just following orders. What they did was no different then what the Nazis did. And the excuses used by the SS saying they were just following orders did not work for them. Then why should it work for these soldiers. 8 men died and 1 boy died age "16" all found on there floor dead and naturally ruled a suicide, case closed all files are sealed or no longer exist.

    not a single person should have been sent there with out proper evidence of there wrong doing. the majority of the 662 that have been released or transferred were given new homes in new countries which was used to buy there silence of what went on there, which is a admittance of wrong doing by the Government of America.

    The majority of the men sent there were sent there by crazy ex wives, some one that wanted there land, or to settle old grudges. a ton were simply accused to get a reward. warlords turned a bunch in to get money and or weapons for there followers.
    out of 779 prisoners 61 of them were considered terrorists. those are horrible stats, and should be a embarrassment to our intel gathers.

    779 prisoners have been held at Guantánamo since the prison opened on January 11, 2002. Of those, 662 have been released or transferred, one was transferred to the U.S. to be tried, and nine have died, the most recent being Adnan Latif, in September 2012. 107 men are still held, and 48 of these men have been recommended for release by high-level governmental review processes. -


    great actors.

  4. Emily Stites

    Definitely an interesting doc, However I wished they focused more on the psychology of the inmates after the stimulation to see what effects this had on them.

  5. Bob

    That was pretty stupid at the end... they only focused on the one guy with sensory deprivation, etc. and then they announce to the others who hadn't been through anything "special" that they had made it...

  6. Mikey666

    Man's inhumanity to Man. Anyone who thinks this behavior is justified has some serious issues. I feel ashamed to be a part of this world. The Bush Administration and any other administration that condones this behavior on other human biengs, should be publically hung for crimes against humanity.

  7. Bill

    yeah...I watched this, then I went back and watched the videos of prisoners being beheaded alive by Al Queda. Stunning juxtaposition. Hopefully Gitmo interrogations save lives.

    1. Kateye70

      Unfortunately, under torture people will (sooner or later) confess to anything they think will get them relief.

      *You* may feel better that they are being punished (before trial and sentencing), but that doesn't make the information being obtained any more reliable or life-saving.

      Our government does have the responsibility to be better than our enemies.

    2. tariqxl

      Fair point but I saw one doc its on here probably under military, cant remember the name.... anyway one man who had been interrogated said that at one point he fell and hit his head on the floor and as he got up he started crying because the fall didn't kill him. I wouldn't want to be put through that especially as I have no reason to be... not all are guilty. But at the end of the day the man who hit his head is alive to tell the tail. Which do you think is the lesser of two evils?

  8. ashamed2baBrit

    oh God! what have we done... everyone should watch this doc...we all have a resposibility to treat people justly..innocent or guilty.
    This is not right...this is not right. Abosolutely brutal!

    Thanks 4 the doc vlatko..u really are educating a nation with th1s site! Long may it continue! And an even bigger thank you for making it free shows that you really are someone who values the concept of seeking knowledge and you have made this very very possible! 1 million thank u's

  9. joey

    Thats all wrong. Its washing with clean sand not dust???

  10. niko

    ^quantanimo :D thats creative

  11. J Hall

    The most freighting aspect elucidated by this documentary is the distorted perspective of the nature of reality by the subjects in this documentary, that initially supported the Quantanimo methods but subsequently, solely because of their personal experience of the Quantanimo methods now totally reject them.

    I think that the greatest danger in our world is a pervasive detachment from reality and the hidden dangers therein.

  12. billy ryder

    One thing is for sure. Rumsfeld and Cheney are the epitome of evil, and the justice department lawyers that sanctioned this should be disciplined by the bar and thrown in jail--however--without being tortured--as we are not animals, right?

  13. princeton

    lol this is all no surprise at all...
    all governments are a cancer upon humanity
    no government can ever not be corrupt
    governments are the root of all evil
    government = the initiation of force/violence
    Democracy is dictatorship with the illusion of choice
    government => terrorism
    nationalism => racism
    they kidnap & cage their own for "taxes(money)" and "disobedience(control)"
    they kill & torture their "enemies" for "defense"
    mankind is their declared 'enemy"
    but mankind looks to these criminals (all politicians everywhere) for hope and solutions.

    Instead of peacefully working with each other, they just wave guns around, and hope their problems go away!


  14. WTC7

    @ Randy,

    That was a nice try, but from you, I could take anything :-), 'cause you're a good guy actually!

    But here's my answer: governments HAVE to tell us everything, they're not supposed to have secrets to hide from me/you/us. Governments are not separate entities from the people that put them where they are, they are, literally, the SERVANTS of the people.

    As much as we are made used/conditioned to laugh at such statements, this is how things should work actually. We allowed such basic, simple facts about the idea of the organization of a society to become ridiculous even to think about. Brrrrrr, that terrible, mean government and these guys in suits with bodyguards, big cars and stuff, ITS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNMENT....

    BS!!! We are thousands, millions... "They" are few... What we need is to understand our role in society, to understand the role of governments, we need to educate ourselves about it, not just blindly nod or powerlessly shrug when governments do things! At least in societies that pretend to be democratic. But I'm afraid that governments are increasingly becoming their majesties... sad. And we still have a chance to remind them where their place is!

  15. Randy


    Confidentiality is a good thing.

    Do you want your doctor to blab to the world about your private stuff?

    Do you want your government to vomit all of their secrets all over you?

    I do not think that you would. There is great horror in governemtns, No one needs to see that stuff...

    There is an old saying:

    "The Law is like sausages... no one wants to see how they are made!"

    However, I love the law and I love sausages!

  16. WTC7

    @ Montgomery Granger,

    Coincidentally, I know a bit about the ICRC. The basic principle of their work is confidentiality. They do not go public with their findings during prison visits, their confidential reports following each detention visit (anywhere in the world) are submitted to the concerned detaining authorities, which are supposed to correct any irregularities not in conformity with the international humanitarian law.

    The option of going public exists for the ICRC as the last possible resort, but to my knowledge, they have never done it (at least not in the last 50 - 60 years).

    So, the ICRC may or may not go nuts about this, but you will not know it... Therefore, they cannot to be used as an argument in support of your thesis.

  17. ez2b12

    @ wtc7

    I agree that at one time several governments seemed to be working toward the whole globilization thing and one world governement- new world order what ever you want to call it. I think it was a huge concern for the guys that made the whole NAFTA, North American union thing up- and I have heard it played a role in the European Union- I have no idea about this as I am from US and all I get about europe is from mass media, which is all bought and payed for and only reinforces the views of the corporations that own it.

    But I would not confuse any of this with the torture policies of the US under Bush and Cheney. They where US ideas carried out by US soldiers and politicians, all of which should be made to stand for war crimes- starting with the top, getting the worse sentences, down to the soldiers that only knew but didn't get involved, getting some punishment as well. I am not a patriot, my generation never seemed to buy nationalism. Maybe it was because we had exposure through TV to the rest of the world or maybe it was because we just don't understand loyalty to ones governement when that government is so corrupted and immoral, I don't know. Point is I never get all proud of the US and say how we stand for this or that, but this time it got to me. I can not stand to know that I am part of a country that did these things, it really bothers me.

    I agree with wayne, we should either prosecute the people we have evidence on and imediately release the rest or maybe just let them all go after this mess- but whatever we do we must hand Guantanamo back to Cuba and leave. As long as we are on foreign soil that keeps the base from falling under certain laws and over sight, I will be wondering what we are doing down there. I am ashamed of this, If I had the money i would leave the US and this would be the biggest reason for my leaving- well that and I would love to get a job, have health care, maybe even be free- like folks in Canada. They even legalized in some places, I am saving my money- yall, leave a light on for me.

  18. WTC7

    @ Randy,

    Which conspiracy are we talking about exactly here? That some gov'ts are working on something they call the New World Order? Hm, I thought that was a fact they openly talk about.

    What exactly that NWO entails, they don't say, but I reckon it includes the stuff we saw in the doc... And on a long run, that's very dangerous... Once the established concepts of democracy and the rule of law start being bent to satisfy the current political desires, it will not be too long before they get you because your skin tone is dark, or that of one of your friends'..... and you yourself, not some unknown guy from Afghanistan, end up in a dark room somewhere on the planet... You would very much wish at that hypothetical moment that there's someone who will speak for your rights.

    Don't care about the mason/illuminati/templar/etc. c**p myself, no need to bring that into a serious conversation, right? :-)

  19. Randy


    I'm just some guy! Just like you! Not affiliated with any Secret Societies or anything of that ilk!

    I am not "Illuminated" in any way... neither do I crave human flesh... that would be WRONG!!!!

    LOL! The twitter that you delicious children love these days.... with the iPhones and the iPads....


    ....nothing.... nothing....

  20. Randy


    "In the land of no eyes, the one eyed man is KING!"

    Listen, there is no conspiracy. I know. I have been there, man, it is just nothing, as I have said again and again on this site.

    There is no way, that I am part of the Great, Magnificent Illuminati...

    Let us Praise, Purescbutu, the Goddess of War and Empires...

    .... or not... whatever... I don't care, 'cuz I don't even care about the New World Order! you believe that....?

  21. WTC7

    "Everything is exactly as it seems...." a color-blind man said

  22. Randy


    Hush, Jono, sweetheart! If you knew anything about us, you wouldn't be on the internet at all.

    You know how easy it is for "The New World Order" to find out exactly where you are and who your family might be...?

    Plus, it does not exist at all... bunch of superstitious nonsense... really....

    Everything is exactly as it seems.

  23. jono

    "@jan..wake up, this is no new world order, it’s just american imperialism."

    American Imperialism in conjunction with other nations and states all of whom are corrupt and controlled by the banks.

    THAT is the new world order the name of which has incidentally been mentioned publicly by no less than 12 world leaders.

  24. Cliff

    I'm sorry but does that dude have a boner at the first few seconds of the doc? lol

    Interrogation fetish? lol

  25. StatingtheObvious

    All the former interrogators got off on this s@#$. Disgusting.

  26. john

    @ jase..terrorism is attacking a country unprovoked, flattening civilian homes with jdams and killing thousands as the us did in iraq and then branding people terrorist because the fight back..what a crock of sh#t.

  27. Jase

    I thought this was pretty mild. I figure the real thing, would be considerably more intense and violent. Compared to what the Nazis did in the camps in WW2, this is a Disney vacation. Over the long term, maybe it gets results, 48 hours verses 48 weeks is a huge difference. They seemed to work over the red headed guy, far more than the others. I wonder why? Also, it seemed to be geared to those from a overtly religious background, I wonder how well it would work on non religious persons. I sympathized with the guys here, because I knew ahead of time, they are not real terrorists. I would not have the same sympathy for the real thing. I will give this Doc a D-.

  28. john

    have you ever seen to film of christopher hitchens being waterboarded..he lasted 10 seconds maybee before he panicked and they stopped the demonstration. they water boarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times in ONE MONTH..i think i would admit to anything to make that stop. osama bin laden is dead, 911 was an inside job and the war on terror is a smoke screen for the corporate states of america to gain new markets in newly democratised, money, money..american greed, capitalism at its finest.

  29. john

    @jan..wake up, this is no new world order, it's just american imperialism.

  30. princeton

    i know & completely agree!
    the only soldier i sympathize with is the child who is forced to join a rebel group
    all others are guns-4-hire & mafia hitmen (with corny uniforms)

  31. Jan

    We going to see this all over the world thanks to New World Order scum.

  32. john

    @princeton...we all have a choice to make, the soldiers could have said NO.

  33. Monkeyboymark

    Brutally chilling documentary and this was done with under the watchfull eyes of UK health and saftey i dread to think what the real detainees are going through usa should have to answer for war crimes

  34. mad

    Guantanamo is like American holocaust on Muslim people

  35. Wayne

    Donald Rumsfeld needs to be tried and sent to a mideast prison for life by an international court. A person so corrupt being allowed to remain in society corrupts society.
    Any intelligence obtained by the remainimg prisoners will be out of date and have no value. Either sentance then or let them go. No delays.
    Hand over Guantanamo to Cuba and leave.

  36. princeton

    This is sick stuff.. i live in Ft hood TX, and I personally know many of the people who carry ish like this out.. not a pleasant existence, and they deserve the internal suffering it brings.. the big wigs could never commit such atrocities without their willingness to blindly do what they're told for a (measly if I must say) paycheck!
    its funny... terrorism is defined as "the use of violence to achieve political goals"
    but to think about it, by their own definition, any "war" or actually any "government policy" is the use of violence to achieve political aims.. so who are the real terrorists?

  37. emanuel

    so how many people had the steam taken out of them in regards to their love for the war on terror.....this IS terror

  38. Sania

    It's one of the hardest docs I ever saw... How they can live with it? Both of the sides.

  39. David

    I remember reading in James VI's book on Demonology that the only way in which a truthful confession could be made was when it was made under extreme torture. He wasn't the first to think in that manner and sadly, as this video illustrates, he wasn't the last.

  40. William MacDonald Gibb

    Inhumane and Barbaric...what more can be said...small wonder the hatred being created by the west in the Middle East.

  41. silkop

    I didn't find the content of this film very chilling, perhaps because they omitted the more gruesome torture techniques like waterboarding. The most shocking doc I've seen here so far was the one about the "evacuation" of UN troops from Rwanda and the later inspections of slaughters that happened as a result.

  42. Linda

    A very shocking documentary. How can a human inflicted this torture on another and put thier head on the pillow and sleep at night I can not comprehend. Surely there must be something that can be done about this. Thank's for posting this doc and letting the people know what is going on.

  43. 420 Vision

    @Achems Razor

    it's been 1984 for a long time now,...

  44. capricious

    I'm with Eduard

    "I dont wanna see this. So i dont watch!"

    Catch you on the next chapter of TDF, all :)

  45. Scott


    I was really expecting them to put a rat filled cage on someone's head...

  46. mowgli

    After watching this video I can only say I am left in shock and awe and somehow not surprised.

  47. jtea45

    I thought when one of the volunteers said stated something to the affect that truth is out the window, that information taken under these kinds of conditions could not be accurate.

  48. mankind

    This is sickening man, truly sickening . The whole f@#$%^&* bush administration should be imprisoned for war crimes. everyone knows that 95% of the people locked up were just dudes walking around or whatever, snatched up and then brought to this hell. 4 years without a official charge, trial or anything... those soldiers are f@#$%^&devils. Rumsfeld deserves to die horribly.

    All they have to look forward to is dieing... what hell man, but what goes around comes around, the boomerang effect. its been said al queada was a maybe 500 to 1000 i@#$%^ tops, but after the Muslim world witnessed these atrocities, their ranks have swelled to 150000+.

    Everyone knows bush was behind 9/11.... for oil and money... bush is the devil man, hes an Antichrist , how the f@#$ did that son of a b@#$% serve 8 years as prez??? too bad mccain palan didn't win eh??? America would've sunk right into the dam ocean with those m@#$%^ at the helm. god bless the innocent ones, they will have justice one day i hope.

  49. Eduard

    I dont wanna see this. So i dont watch!

  50. Achems Razor

    Watched the full doc. this is something that will stay with me forever!
    Made my blood run cold, if people want nightmares, then watch the doc.

    But by saying that, everyone should watch the doc. or their heads will be buried in the sand forever.

    I have said it before, will say again, the Empire of US is leading to "Orwell's 1984"

  51. dustin


  52. ez2b12

    @ hhv

    By all means, I agree. I am glad they make these docs, I just can't watch them myself. I know what torture is without having to see it acted out, it's common sense besides the definition was discussed over and over in the news cycle not long ago. I did watch the Guantanamo doc on HBO where they exposed all of what had happened, pictures and all. That was enough for me on this particular subject, as far as watching documentaries that is.

    I personally think more criminal prosecutions were called for, specifically the big wigs that knew what was happening and were giving the orders. It seemed for some reason that Obama's admin didn't want to persue this very agressively. Lots of liberal and conservative (mostly liberals) citizens did call for prosecutions and investigations into the past administrations knowledge and involvement, but it never went very far. The economy was tanking and people got distracted from the attrocities commited.

    Even if you throw out the ethical and moral issues, a man being tortured will tell you what ever you want to hear, not necessarily the truth. This was probably the one part of the whole ugly mess (war on terror) that I was the most sickened and ashamed of. If someone would have told me when i was growing up that our governement would be doing this stuff, i would have laughed at them. I guess I was a really niave kid, but I really thought this was something American soldiers would never do. I knew that it happened at smaller scales within the intelligence commmunity, CIA and FBI you know. But I thought it was probably not that seriouse or wide spread even there. I was totally wrong, and it still hurts me badly.

    I can not disconnect myself from the country I grew up in and am a citizen of presently, and I usually do not want to- But, this is just horrible and simple minded not to mention morally corrupt and pointless. Since when did we take fathers and sons and torture them- in front of each other? Of course some neo con always wants to throw that senario in where its like a bomb is going to explode and you have the guy that knows where it is- do you torture if necessary? Yes in my opinion, but lets face it, this is not the situation these horrible acts were committed within.

    There was no immediate danger from most of these people, the vast majority of them are not even charged with crimes or officially connected with any certain group. They have no right to representation or due process even, it is a pox on our soul- and until it is really dealt with it will continue to fester and rot. Maybe one day we will address this stuff for real, I doubt it though. I think it will get swept under the rug and we will move on, much like we already have.

    But maybe this doc and more like it will rehash the whole thing and people will demand something gets done about it, and i do not mean locking up privates and low ranking officers that where in the wrong- orders or not, but still should not be held souly responcible. I want to see some generals and x presidents going down. Maybe that lawyer guy that helped them figure out how to design and promote this stuff without getting into trouble, and most of all Cheney. I think D1cK Cheney should be water boarded and tortured just like these guys were, and in some foreign land where he has no bearings and is scared out of his mind. That I WOULD watch, over and over again.

  53. hhv

    ez2b12, suit yourself, of course. I'm of the belief that knowledge is power. If you understand the process, aren't you more capable to spot when rights are being violated? Combine this with Quiet Rage, and a good understanding of Milgram, and Stockholm Syndrome, and I firmly believe your appreciation of just how fragile the mind is grows exponentially. Essential knowledge considering I own one, and not a strong one at that.

  54. ez2b12

    No, i can't watch this one. I would never make it through trying to watch someone get tortured, even if they are a volunteer. The things that happened in Guantanamo where awful, i actually cried when i saw the special on cable about it, because it showed this guy whos dad had been killed from neglect and mistreatment as well as torture right in front of him. I would lose my mind and go bezerker if that happened to me. It would be too much for me, they would have had to kill me next, and probably would have I guess. Yall enjoy, I have made myself sit through many docs on this site that were hard to watch but I will never make this one.

  55. hhv

    Oh, and thank you Vlatko!!

  56. hhv

    This is one of my favorite docs of all time. It so clearly illustrates what classic restructuring of the mind via stress can and will do. Think boot camp when you watch, not just prisoners, or terrorists.