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IPFS News Link • Guantanamo Bay

Now It Can Be Told (Part 3) -- Murder by Suicide at Guantanamo

•, By Mark Adams

One of the most notorious incidents happened at a secret CIA facility located just outside the perimeter of Guantanamo.

On the evening of June 9, 2006, Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman was on duty at Guantanamo Bay. From his unique vantage point high above on the sally port, he observed, three times, at approximately 20-minute intervals, a paddy wagon drive to Alpha Block and then drive away with a manacled prisoner.

Curiously the paddy wagon did not seem headed for any familiar part of the compound but, instead, ambled off in the direction of an area external to the prison perimeter to a place known colloquially as Camp No, purportedly a secret CIA base.

Sometime around 11:30 pm, Hickman observed the paddy wagon return, only this time, it pulled up next to the medical clinic. Within 30 minutes, the whole camp lit up with stadium-style floodlights amidst a pandemonium of chaos. Hickman headed to the medical clinic, which seemed to be the focus of frenzied activity. A distraught corpsman informed him that three dead prisoners had been delivered to the clinic.

How did this happen?

Hickman learned of the deaths of three Gitmo prisoners at midnight on June 10. The next day, the New York Times published a front-page article featuring the headline:

3 Prisoners Commit Suicide at Guantánamo

That was news to Hickman. In fact, that rogue explanation touched off a tsunami of events that eventually culminated in a decade-long investigation by students and faculty at Seton Hall Law School.