More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America's controversial prison in Cuba.
The US military dossiers reveal how, alongside the so-called “worst of the worst”, many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment.
The 759 Guantánamo files, classified "secret", cover almost every inmate since the camp was opened in 2002. More than two years after President Obama ordered the closure of the prison, 172 are still there. The files depict a system often focused less on containing dangerous terrorists or enemy fighters, than on extracting intelligence.
Among inmates were an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim.
The old man was transported to Cuba to interrogate him about "suspicious phone numbers" found in his compound. The 14-year-old was shipped out because of "his possible knowledge of Taliban...local leaders"
*Almost 100 of the inmates who passed through Guantánamo are listed by their captors as having had depressive or psychotic illnesses. Many went on hunger strike or attempted suicide.
*A number of British nationals and residents were held for years even though US authorities knew they were not Taliban or al-Qaida members. their interrogation techniques. The US military tried to hang on to another Briton, Binyam Mohamed, even after charges had been dropped and evidence emerged he had been tortured.
*US authorities relied on information obtained from a small number of detainees under torture. They continued to maintain testimony was reliable even after admitting that prisoners had been mistreated.