February 20, 2009 Slideshows

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Guantanamo's Final Days 

The day President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the camps at Guantanamo Bay, writer Tim Elfrink was the only American reporter inside the detention camps. While there, he was able to get an inside view of the facilities that some of America's sworn enemies occupy.
Barry Bland
Army Col. Bruce Vargo, commander of detention camps at Guantánamo, sits in an office at Camp Delta.
Barry Bland
Detainees are given prayer rugs, and an arrow on the concrete floor points toward Mecca.
Barry Bland
A detainee at Camp 4, the lowest-security area for the best-behaved inmates.
Barry Bland
Detainees talk inside Camp 4. White clothing is given to only the best-behaved ones.
Barry Bland
Detainees in Camp 4 do their own laundry and hang it to dry from chainlink fences.
Barry Bland
An unused cellblock inside Camp 5, a medium-security facility.
Barry Bland
Detainees are still regularly interrogated in this room inside Camp 5. If they’re well behaved, they can watch movies once a week here while shackled to the couch.
Barry Bland
A detainee (right) exercises in Camp 5’s rec yards. Inmates get at least two hours a day outside, playing soccer or running in 10-by-20-foot cages.
Barry Bland
When their lawyers come to visit, detainees are shackled to this chair in a “habeas room” in Camp 5.
Barry Bland
An assortment of items every detainee receives: hygiene products, cotton jumpsuits, and a prayer rug.
Barry Bland
Each cell’s bathroom includes two collapsible “suicide-proof” towel hooks and a shatter-proof mirror.
Barry Bland
Sailors congregate in the common area of an empty cellblock in Camp 6, the highest-security prison journalists can visit. The location of Camp 7, which holds 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remains classified.
Barry Bland
Detainees are offered art classes in this common area inside Camp 6.
Barry Bland
The center’s library includes more than 14,000 books in 22 languages, including the whole Harry Potter series. Other than Hogwarts, the detainees’ most popular request is for a Muslim tome titled Don’t Be Sad.
Barry Bland
Some of the worst abuses at Guantánamo might have taken place in these hastily built plywood interrogation rooms next to Camp X-Ray. They housed the first detainees at Gitmo from January to April 2002. That camp and these rooms haven’t been used since.
Barry Bland
The interrogation rooms at Camp X-Ray, where many believe waterboarding and other torturous interrogation techniques were first used at Guantánamo.
Barry Bland
These interrogation rooms were built quickly in early 2002 after President Bush decided to ship suspected terrorists to Guantánamo Bay.
Barry Bland
Detainees faced primitive conditions such as this shared shower area during their four months at Camp X-Ray.
Barry Bland
Until the more modern Camp Delta was finished in April 2002, suspects lived in open-air cages at Camp X-Ray, where giant banana rats ran free.
Barry Bland
Today, weeds have overgrown Camp X-Ray, and guard towers are crumbling.
Barry Bland
Camp X-Ray, which sits in a valley in a remote corner of the base, has been empty since April 2002.
AP Photo/Janet Hamlin
Omar Khadr was 15 years old and near death when captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002. The Toronto-born Canadian citizen is accused of throwing a grenade that blinded one Army soldier and killed another.
AP Photo/Janet Hamlin
Omar Khadr’s case presents President Obama with one of his toughest challenges: What do you do with the only Westerner at Gitmo, whose family remains radical and who might still be a threat to the United States? Khadr’s case is currently in limbo.
Layne Morris
Staff Sgt. Layne Morris, of Salt Lake City, lost his right eye in the 2002 firefight with Omar Khadr.
Layne Morris
Staff Sgt. Layne Morris and his Special Forces squad fought in one of the first battles of the War on Terror.
Courtesy of Mahvish Khan
Mahvish Khan, who received a law degree from the University of Miami, worked at a translator at Guantánamo Bay and wrote a book about her experiences, My Guantánamo Diary.
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Barry Bland
Army Col. Bruce Vargo, commander of detention camps at Guantánamo, sits in an office at Camp Delta.
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