Molly Crabapple Draws Guantanamo's Camp X-Ray

By Molly Crabapple


Drawings by Molly Crabapple

Camp X-Ray is the first place that the US held detainees in Guantanamo. Captives lived there for four months in 2002 while the military built permanent prison camps.

Prisoners lived in open mesh cages under the brutal Cuban sun. Their cells had no running water. Guards gave them two buckets: one for water and one for shit. 

The classic photos of GTMO, (dogs, marines, hooded captives in orange jumpsuits) were taken here. With its watchtowers, clapboard interrogation huts, and rings of barbed wire, X-Ray looks like nothing so much as a concentration camp in the Caribbean.

X-Ray has been empty for over a decade. Birds nest in the razor wire. Vines overtake former cells. Miles away, 104 prisoners are hunger-striking. Forty-four are being force-fed. Many of them first came here through X-Ray. 

My press escort hates when the media uses images of X-Ray to sum up GTMO. X-Ray, she says, was very long ago.



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Previously - Molly Crabapple Sent Us Sketches from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's Pretrial Hearings at Gitmo

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