Janet Hamlin has worked as a sketch artist like no other, in an American court like no other: at the Defense Department’s Military Commissions, the tribunal chambers at Guantanamo Bay.
In Sketching Guantanamo, you can take a look at the young Canadian who grew into manhood behind the barbed wire of Guantanamo — beard and all — claiming his innocence, and that he was tortured, until he ultimately confessed to committing a war crime when he was 15.
Then peer through double-glazed soundproof glass as Hamlin gives the world its first look at the man who boasted that he orchestrated the 9/11 mass murder. Khalid Sheik Mohammed disappeared into the CIA’s dark sites to 183 rounds of waterboarding, last seen in a tattered T-shirt in need of a shave. Next he emerges on her sketchpad — a gray-bearded figure at the Guantanamo war court.
One morning in 2006, Hamlin put a fluorescent orange charcoal to her pad to capture the defiance of an Ethiopian captive who came to court in a traditional Muslim tunic — specially dyed in a shop in London to match the jumpsuit of the condemned. That man, Binyam Mohamed, is gone from Guantanamo now: set free by diplomatic dealings begun during the George W. Bush administration. But the sketch artist’s work endures, an exclusive look inside a courtroom walled off from the world by a White House that fused American criminal law and military justice — an evolving experiment that continues to this day.
— Carol Rosenberg, from her Introduction
172-page full-color 11.25" x 8.25" hardcover • $28.99
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