– Breaking the Silence –

Secret CIA TORTURE – DEATH Black Site Exposed:

Exclusive interview with Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux


Rags Stuffed Down Throats


On June 9, 2006 three violent and unusual deaths occurred at the Camp Delta facility at Guantanamo Bay. According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and the U.S. States Justice Department, on that fateful night three detainees in Alpha Block hung themselves in separate, non-adjoining cells.


For the better part of ten years law professor Mark Denbeaux has led a team of dedicated investigators at Seton Hall Law School who have plowed through a mountain of documents and worked tirelessly and diligently to elucidate the facts. Their investigative work rips the hide off the absurd and preposterous – one might say pathologic – lies spewed out first from the NCIS and later from the Justice Department.


According to the NCIS each prisoner tore bed sheets and T-shirts into elongated strands that they used to construct a noose which they then secured to a ceiling vent by climbing on top of a sink. After shoving rags down their throat they somehow managed to tie their hands and legs together, then mounted the sink, secured their neck in the noose and jumped off the sink and hung for two hours before patrolling guards discovered the hanging corpses.

Reference:  Pages 18 – 19 & Page 21


The absurdity of the government’s explanation is further magnified by the fact that the prisoners were maintained under constant surveillance:


There must be a continuous presence on the blocks by the guards. At no time should the block not have a guard walking up and down the block. – SOP 6-1(d)


Reference:  Page 23



At least two of the prisoners took the trouble to strap cloth masks to their faces, perhaps they thought it was bad etiquette to hang with their face exposed.

References:  Page 19 Page 1


According to the NCIS not only did the suicidal detainees miraculously manage to evade detection by six guards patrolling the corridor outside their cells but they also evaded being recorded by constant video camera surveillance.    Page 7



Asymmetrical Warfare


At a press conference hastily assembled the next day, on June 10th, Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris, the commander of the detention camp at Guantánamo, made the absurd declaration that the “suicides” were an act of “asymmetrical warfare”.


Photo: Commons Wikimedia


Reference:    Page 1



[T]here is no explanation in the NCIS Report how the supposed acts of “asymmetrical warfare” could have been coordinated by the three detainees, who had been on the same cell block together for only 72 hours with occupied and unoccupied cells between them, and who had been under constant supervision.

Reference:  Page 6



The same day that Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris issued his bizarre “asymmetrical suicide” statement to the press, base commander, Colonel Bumgarner, assembled the troops to confirm the rumors that three prisoners committed suicide by swallowing rags.

File:Adm. Harry B. Harris,Jr.jpg

Despite his own orders, Colonel Bumgarner provided information to the Charlotte Observer, his hometown newspaper, that each of the prisoners who died at Camp Delta “had a ball of cloth in their mouth either for choking or muffling their voices.”


Colonel Bumgarner was immediately suspended and relieved of command. After returning home, his house was raided by the FBI.


  • Message to the troops: Do not talk about the incident. Page 7


For over two years the official NCIS findings were kept secret.

On August 22, 2008, the NCIS finally issued a statement purporting that “[t]he manner of death for all detainees was determined to be suicide and the cause of death was determined to be hanging.”

Reference:  – Page 8



NCIS’s ribald mythology was etiolated by four members of an elite Military Intelligence unit assigned to guard Camp Delta. Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman was sergeant of the guard the night of June 9; he provided information to investigators at Seton Hall Law who had been scrupulously reviewing heavily redacted documents obtained from NCIS through the Freedom of Information Act.


Hickman claims that just after 6:00 PM a paddy wagon arrived at Camp One which houses Alpha Block, that section of the compound where the three prisoners allegedly hung themselves. He observed two Navy guards exit Camp One together with a shackled prisoner.


From a guard tower Hickman observed the paddy wagon proceed to a part of the base colloquially known as Camp NO – a secret CIA facility located directly outside the detention compound. Throughout the evening Hickman observed the paddy wagon return two more times to transport a prisoner from Alpha Block to Camp NO.


Around 11:3O PM he observed the paddy wagon as it pulled up to the entrance of the medical clinic. Approximately thirty minutes later flood lights lit up the entire camp as a torrent of frenzied activity unfolded.


Hickman went to the clinic, which appeared to be the focal point of hysteria and asked a distressed medical corpsman what the problem was. A distressed corpsman said some dead prisoners had been delivered to the clinic. Hickman distinctly remembers being told that the victims had died because they had rags stuffed down their throats.



Pages 2 – 3


Hickman’s input reassured Seton Hall investigators that they were on the right track: the “suicide hanging” narrative was a crock, the government was peddling a tissue of lies and the news media couldn’t be bothered to investigate. Not one news agency was investigating the strange circumstances that resulted in not just one, or two, but three highly unusual deaths that occurred within a span of a few hours. Not a single news media questioned the bizarre theory forwarded by the government that the “suicides” were an act of “asymmetrical warfare.”


A Bombshell Document


Lying in a mountain of documents that Seton Hall investigators were examining was part of a report from the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office which had conducted its own inquiry into the events of June 9, 2006. Included in the report was a statement from a medical escort identified as MA3 Denny. Professor Denbeaux recalls the distressed moment when one of his students came to him exclaiming:


I think that we have found something horrible. At least one of the detainees was alive hours later than reported. He was left to die.



Denny was working a twelve hour shift when a code call came in from Camp 1 shortly after midnight on June 10th.


Upon arriving at Camp 1 Denny and his partner were informed that the detainee with the medical crisis was already at the detainee clinic.

This was the first indication that something was wrong. Only medical escort teams are authorized to transfer a detainee from his cell to the clinic. What Denny and his partner observed and experienced at the clinic and afterwards is mind-numbing unbelievable.


In the center of the room lying on a stretcher was a shackled, unconscious prisoner identified as ISN 093. His lower extremities were blue. Although a lot of medical personnel were present no one was providing emergency care. Eventually the handcuffs were removed. Afterwards a corpsman tied strands of a bed sheet onto the unconscious victim’s wrists.


  • The witness, identified as MA3 Denny, provided in a sworn statement, how he observed first hand a medical corpsman tying shreds of a bed sheet around the wrists of the unconscious victim.


Denny arranged for an ambulance to transport ISN093 to the base hospital where he could receive proper treatment. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive he observed two other detainees arrive at the clinic; one he described as “unconscious” the other appeared “lifeless.”


When the ambulance arrived the corpsman immediately began chest compressions since no one else was providing medical care.


Denny rode in the back of the ambulance and assisted the corpsman. While the corpsman performed chest compressions he kept the oxygen mask over the unconscious victim’s mouth and compressed the air bag twice for every fifteen chest compressions. The victim still had a faint heart beat but neither Denny nor the corpsman could tell weather the heart was beating on its own or merely responding to the chest compressions.


At one point the victim spit up thick, orange blood. When Denny pulled the head back again (apparently to readjust the oxygen mask) he and the corpsman noticed that the victim’s neck was swollen and purple. Further examination revealed that the victim had a strand of bed sheet tightly wrapped three or four times around his neck secured with a knot. The corpsman cut the fabric and loosened the noose somewhat but it was wrapped so tight he was unable to remove it.


Upon arriving at the hospital prisoner ISN 093 was transferred to a bed and CPR was administered. A female Commander from the clinic called and inquired about the victim’s status. Shortly after the Commander called again and said the other two prisoners were dead and again asked for the status of ISN 093. One of the medical personnel held his index finger and thumb about an inch apart and announced, “He’s that close to death.” Shortly after prisoner ISN 093 died.

Reference:   Appendix D-19 ~ D-20


After the Seton Hall investigators discovered the statement from medical escort Denny tucked within the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office report they realized that it had originally been stamped with NCIS notations and placed with the proper exhibit numbers into the official NCIS file. Afterward it was removed. This is how Seton Hall investigators describe the course of events:


In its place were three random, disconnected pages — photocopies of other pages already in the file. NCIS had attempted to destroy this chilling statement. No one reading the file would ever have known that it once included a three-page statement from a sworn eyewitness that sharply contradicted the NCIS’s assertions.



The Seton Hall report goes on to state:


The most lucid and compelling sworn statement taken by the NCIS in its investigation – which contradicts essential aspects of the NCIS Report narrative and its findings – was physically removed from the NCIS Report and replaced with duplicates of other pages from the Report before it was released to the public.




Pages 11 & 3



Also buried in the stockpile of documents obtained by Seton Hall investigators was a significant amount of medical records for one of the detainees, ISN 693, who either died at the clinic or was dead on arrival. The records contain extensive medical history for the prisoner including a Narrative Summary from a Senior Medical Officer (SMO) who was summoned to the clinic just after midnight on June 10th.


From the Seton Hall report:


The SMO’s position on the cause of death of ISN 693 contradicts the cause of death as reported by the NCIS in its Report. The NCIS reports the cause of death to be “hanging.” However, the SMO, who declared ISN 693 dead, states in his Narrative Summary that the detainee had been “brought to clinic on night of June 11th [sic] after committing suicide by likely asphyxiation from obstructing his airway. Detainee declared dead at 0115 after a significant attempt to resuscitate.” The SMO’s position on the cause of death refers to an object inside ISN 693’s mouth that obstructed his airway, with no mention at all of “hanging” – the cause of death reported by the NCIS.


Page 15


The official NCIS report makes no mention of an interview with the Senior Medical Officer. His Narrative Summary for victim ISN 693 is not included in the official report:


[T]he NCIS’s omission of the SMO’s belief as to the cause of death is inexplicable


Page 16


Seton Hall investigators found another document describing the gruesome course of events.


The Senior Medical Officer, [name redacted], arrived and assessed [ISN 693]…. Once the mouth was open we saw that there was a big piece of cloth lodged in the back of [ISN 693’s] mouth. [Name redacted] extracted it with forceps and it appeared to take a good amount of force to get it out. Once it was out I saw that it was folded repeatedly on itself and nearly as big as a wash cloth that was folded once in half…. [W]e thought there may have been something else obstructing the airway. …



Page 16


Gruesome Harvest



The hellish night of June 9, 2006 claimed three victims: Salah Ahmed Al-Salami from Yemen, Mani Shaman AL-Utaybi from Saudi Arabia, and Yasser Al-Zahrani also from Saudi Arabia. In the NCIS report the dead victims are identified only as ISN 093, ISN 588 and ISN 693.


Mani al-Utaybi was slated for release and subsequent return to Saudi Arabia. Attorneys for Yasser al-Zahrani believed he had been set to leave the prison soon.



Yasser’s father shared his thoughts concerning his son’s death:


They [the CIA] snatched my seventeen-year-old son for a bounty payment. They took him to Guantánamo and held him prisoner for five years. They tortured him. Then they killed him and returned him to me in a box, cut up.


Page 7


Cover Up


Despite the grim discoveries documented by Seton Hall investigators and two formal Congressional requests, the U.S. Justice Department steadfastly refuses to re-investigate the strange circumstances of the brutal deaths. Instead, the Justice Department under the leadership of Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, has stifled any legitimate investigation.


The tendrils of corruption extend even deeper. In 1995, while he was a high ranking official in the Justice Department, Eric Holder was instrumental in covering-up another brutal death that was transmogrified into a bizarre hanging suicide. This happened not on the far away shores of Guantanamo Bay but at the federal transfer facility in Oklahoma City. The victim was federal inmate Kenneth Trentadue, who was beaten into submission before his throat was cut in bloody jail cell. He even had bruises on the bottom of his feet.

  His death was ruled a “suicide” by the medical examiner.    


Mark Adams

Government Reform Project


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *