Pentagon release secret, never-before-seen photos of Guantanamo Bay detainees arriving in shackles

REVEALED: Secret photos of first Guantanamo Bay detainees arriving in shackles, blindfolds and ear protectors that were taken in 2002 to show Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld conditions at the site

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A series of secret, never-before-released photos of the original detainees at the US’ prison at Guantanamo Bay detention camp have been published.

The photos, posted by the New York Times Sunday, show scenes of men in shackles, blindfolds and ear protectors as they arrived at the controversial prison facility in 2002. 

The Times points out that the only images ever leaked from the prison on the coast of Cuba were put out by WikiLeaks in 2011.  

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, we are now seeing some of the first photos of the first prisoners to arrive on site, just a few months after the attacks on September 11, 2001. 

The photos were taken to give Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other leaders in Washington a look at the start of the wartime detention and interrogation.

Restrained Al-Qaeda/Taliban detainee are airlifted aboard a US Air Force (USAF) C-141 Starlifter aircraft from Kandahar, Afghanistan

Restrained Al-Qaeda/Taliban detainee are airlifted aboard a US Air Force (USAF) C-141 Starlifter aircraft from Kandahar, Afghanistan

115th Military Police Battalion (MPB) personnel escort a detainee from a bus for in-processing at the Camp X-Ray detention center

115th Military Police Battalion (MPB) personnel escort a detainee from a bus for in-processing at the Camp X-Ray detention center

The detainees are seen not only blindfolded, but some with their hands duct taped together, trying to move around in an attempt to see anything past their blindfolds.

The photographed include David Hicks, an Australian man captured while fighting for the Taliban, as he was led down the ramp of a cargo plane.

The prisoners were given shackles so that the soldiers could move them around more easily. Soldiers at the time noted the prisoners were fairly easy to lift because they may have been malnourished.

One of the photos shows a detainee getting on his knees and maneuvering away from the door to his sell just so a guard could give him his meal, which are shown as everything from oranges to sliced carrots to beans.  

Each prisoner was originally issued a military ISO mat that the pisoners used as mattresses and prayer rugs. 

Security Forces personnel assist an Al-Qaeda/Taliban detainee aboard a bus bound for the detention facilities at Guantanamo

Security Forces personnel assist an Al-Qaeda/Taliban detainee aboard a bus bound for the detention facilities at Guantanamo

The detainees are seen not only blindfolded, but some with their hands duct taped together, trying to move around in an attempt to see anything past their blindfolds

The detainees are seen not only blindfolded, but some with their hands duct taped together, trying to move around in an attempt to see anything past their blindfolds

The prisoners were given shackles so that the soldiers could move them around more easily. Soldiers at the time noted the prisoners were fairly easy to lift because they may have been malnourished

The prisoners were given shackles so that the soldiers could move them around more easily. Soldiers at the time noted the prisoners were fairly easy to lift because they may have been malnourished

Detainees in Camp X-Ray spend much of thier day praying, using a mat given to them by the military as a prayer rug

Detainees in Camp X-Ray spend much of thier day praying, using a mat given to them by the military as a prayer rug

None of the soldiers have been identified, although a caption from back in 2002 suggests two soldiers were in the 115th Military Police Battalion, which was later assigned to the equally controversial Abu Ghraib prison. 

Detainees recovered from their various ailments in Fleet Hospital Twenty, which is the primary medical care facility.

On January 11, 2002, the military banned photogs who were on site from CNN and the Miami Herald from taking any pictures. Instead, a Naval photographer sent out a photo of the first 20 prisoners on their knees at Camp X-Ray, an early prison mini-camp.

About 780 men and boys were brought to Gitmo under President George W. Bush, who referred to the prisoners as ‘the worst of the worst.’

However, only 18 people detained at the prison were ever charged and only five of them have ever been convicted. 

Only 35 men remain at the prison, with 10 of them waiting for trials to begin. President Barack Obama was stopped from closing Guantanamo, but recent administrations have slowly lowered the amount of people still detained.

A series of secret, never-before-released photos of the original detainees at the US' prison at Guantanamo Bay detention camp have been published

A series of secret, never-before-released photos of the original detainees at the US’ prison at Guantanamo Bay detention camp have been published

The photos, posted by the New York Times Sunday, show scenes of men in shackles, blindfolds and ear protectors as they arrived at the controversial prison facility in 2002

The photos, posted by the New York Times Sunday, show scenes of men in shackles, blindfolds and ear protectors as they arrived at the controversial prison facility in 2002

Detainees recover from their various ailments in Fleet Hospital Twenty, which is the primary medical care facility

Detainees recover from their various ailments in Fleet Hospital Twenty, which is the primary medical care facility

A detainee, in Camp X-Ray, kneels with his hands behind his head while dinner is placed in his detainment unit

A detainee, in Camp X-Ray, kneels with his hands behind his head while dinner is placed in his detainment unit

Yasser Esam Hamdi kneels down during one of five prayer services performed by detainees every day

Yasser Esam Hamdi kneels down during one of five prayer services performed by detainees every day

About 780 men and boys were brought to Gitmo under President George W. Bush, who referred to the prisoners as 'the worst of the worst'

About 780 men and boys were brought to Gitmo under President George W. Bush, who referred to the prisoners as ‘the worst of the worst’

However, only 18 people detained at the prison were ever charged and only five of them have ever been convicted

However, only 18 people detained at the prison were ever charged and only five of them have ever been convicted

DailyMail.com reported in 2021 that of the Guantanamo inmates who remain, 17 are deemed ‘high-value’ and will probably never be released. 

But the remaining ‘low-value detainees’ are deemed to pose little risk, and nine of them have already, in theory, been formally cleared as safe to release. 

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