US accused of covering up Guantánamo killings


US OFFICIALS may have conspired to conceal evidence that three Guantánamo Bay inmates could have been murdered during interrogations, according to US journalists.

All three may have been suffocated during questioning on the same evening and their deaths passed off as suicides by hanging, the joint investigation for Harper’s Magazine and NBC News has concluded.

The magazine also suggests that a cover-up could explain why the US government is reluctant to allow the release of Shaker Aamer, the last former British resident held at Guantánamo, as he is said to claim he was part-suffocated while being tortured on the same evening.

“The cover-up is amazing in its audacity, and it is continuing into the Obama administration,” said Scott Horton, the contributing editor for Harper’s who conducted the investigation.

When the three men – Salah Ahmed al-Salami (37), a Yemeni, and two Saudis, Talal al-Zahrani (22) and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi (30) – died in June 2006, the camp’s commander declared that they had died by suicide as “an act of asymmetrical warfare”.

According to an official inquiry by the US navy, whose report was heavily censored before release, the men were found in their cells hanging, with bound hands and rags stuffed down their throats.

However, Horton spoke to four camp guards who said the bodies arrived at the camp’s medical clinic not from the cell block which they were guarding but from a “black site” known as Camp No, within Guantánamo, operated by either the CIA or a Pentagon intelligence agency. – ( Guardianservice)