The Guantanamo Trap

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The Guantanamo Trap
Directed by Thomas Wallner
Release date
  • April 29, 2011 (2011-04-29) (Hot Docs Festival)

The Guantanamo Trap is a documentary film about four individuals whose lives were changed by their association with the Guantanamo Bay detention camps.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The film was directed by Thomas Wallner and won the special jury prize at the 2011 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

The four individuals profiled in the film are Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen raised in Germany, who was arrested in Pakistan and sold for a bounty to the US army. He spent five years as a detainee in the Kandahar Internment Facility and the Guantanamo camps despite the FBI and the US and German intelligence thought he was innocent. Kurnaz says he is innocent and has been tortured during his detention.[7][8] Diane Beaver, a military lawyer known for drafting a memo widely described as "the torture memo";[8] Matthew Diaz, a navy lawyer who was sentenced to 6 month of imprisonment for leaking the names of Guantanamo captives to human rights organizations;[8] Gonzalo Boye, a Spanish lawyer who tried to charge those he thought responsible for war crimes committed at Guantanamo.[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Guantanamo Trap". CBC News. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2011-11-18. We started this segment with a clip from Diane Beaver, now a retired lawyer who was a Lt. Col. and legal advisor in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General Corps. And she's speaking about the prisoners she saw while working at the U.S. Military Prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the dark days after 9/11 and the pressure she and others say they felt to get those prisoners to talk. 
  2. ^ "The Guantanamo Trap". Four Corners. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2011-11-18. The second person in this story is Diane Beaver, a Judge Advocate for the US Defence Forces. Deployed to Guantanamo she is responsible for drafting a legal memorandum that would later be nicknamed the 'torture memo'. Beaver, a self confessed conservative, supports the war on terror and simply tries to follow orders creating a document that defines what interrogators can and cannot legally do to inmates. 
  3. ^ "The Guantanamo Trap". Encounters magazine. 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Judge Advocate Diane Beaver volunteers for Guantanamo and becomes the international press’s ‘torture lady’. 
  4. ^ "HotDocs 2011: The Guantanamo Trap". Hot Docs. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Not that you need to be completely even-handed when discussing torture, but it’s quite fascinating to hear Diane Beaver (appointed legal advisor to the camp command at Guantanamo in early 2002) talk about why she wrote that initial memo and why she does not believe that any of those techniques bordered on torture (by what she terms as “any definition” of the word you’d care to name). The film itself is quite careful to never explicitly state that any of these methods are actually torture, but it’s hard to escape that conclusion when you hear people who have experienced it talk to the camera about it.  mirror
  5. ^ David Silverberg (2011-05-12). "Op-Ed: The Guantanamo Trap a powerful intelligent documentary on torture". Digital Journal. Retrieved 2011-11-18. What elicited the most reaction during the film was the story of Diane Beaver, someone consistently linked with torture if you Google her name. Also a Judge Advocate for the U.S. military, she is best known as the author of a legal memorandum that would later be nicknamed, ‘The Torture Memo.’ That act has forever shadowed her, even though she never regrets listing the many new ways prisoners can be interrogated at Gitmo, which Donald Rumsfeld approved. Consider Beaver responsible for tactics such as stripping prisoners naked and exposing them to phobias such as barking dogs. 
  6. ^ Adrian Mack (2011-11-17). "The Guantanamo Trap plays Amnesty International Film Fest". Georgia Strait. Retrieved 2011-11-18. She’s not without sympathy, since Beaver was hung out to dry in the time-honoured fashion by everybody further along the chain of command. 
  7. ^ "Ex-Terror Detainee Says U.S. Tortured Him". CBS News. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2011-11-20.  mirror
  8. ^ a b c d "Documentary holds up four-sided mirror to Guantanamo Bay". Deutche World. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-11-18. As a Navy lawyer at Guantanamo Bay, Matt Diaz copied a list of prisoners and posted it to a human rights organization in New York, morally compelled to speak out against the atrocities he had witnessed at Guantanamo. His thanks came in the form of deafening silence from human rights defenders and a six-month prison sentence for defying his superiors and his government.  mirror