Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Laura Poitras, who is my colleague on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, has a powerful short-form documentary film out today, via the New York Times' "op doc" series.
"Death of a Prisoner: The Tragic Return Home of a Guantánamo Bay Detainee" follows a journey to Yemen, to return the body of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif to his family. In 2012, he "died in solitary confinement at Guantánamo at age 36, after nearly 11 years of imprisonment there, despite never having been charged with a crime."
Mr. Latif’s death is under investigation by the United States military, which claims he committed suicide from an overdose of prescription medication complicated by acute pneumonia. But that’s hard to take at face value. Why was he placed in solitary confinement when he was suffering from acute pneumonia? How could he have overdosed on medication, given the strict protocols at Guantánamo? Why did it take three months for the body to be returned to Yemen? And finally, why are his autopsy and toxicology report classified and being withheld from his family?
These questions are not just about Adnan Latif. They also address the injustices that our government has instituted and normalized in the war on terror.
And the video is also here on YouTube.
Today, it should be noted, is the 11th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo as a terror detainee facility. What irony that Poitras' film was published by the Times on the same day as this pathetic op-ed arguing Gitmo should remain open.