Who runs the Gitmo library? The Navy's not quite sure

Who runs the Gitmo library? The Navy’s not quite sure

Three years and a half-dozen agencies later, and what little information that has been released came from a completely unrelated inquiry

Written by
Edited by JPat Brown

After reading a bit about the Guantánamo Bay library, and how John Grisham’s books were banned from it, I filed a few requests for more information. So far the only reading list I’ve received is a whirlwind tour of agencies tasked with helping manage the U.S.’s presence at Gitmo.

I filed my requests with US SOCCOM, which said it could not find any responsive documents, but that Navy Installations Command would likely have them and the agency helpfully forwarded my request.

Installations Command responded:

Please direct all inquiries relating to the inmate prison located in GTMO to U.S. Southern Command who will be processing your FOIA requests. Again, CNIC has no records or information on the subject matter. Thank you.

SOUTHCOM emailed NIC and cc’d me, but I haven’t actually received a confirmation letter for this request, yet, meaning that the requests might not even be in the proper queue, five weeks after initially filed, although each FOIA officer should be commended for being helpful in forwarding requests as needed.

That was nearly three years ago, and while it’s looking like I finally got the correct agency, if it takes any longer, I’m going to have start charging a late fee.

Meanwhile, a completely different request by Jeffery Kaye for the “guidelines for the use of loud music and strobe lights in interrogations” turned up a copy of the base’s standard operating procedures. And lo and behold, there are entries for the library …

and the librarian position itself.


Which is as much as we’ve managed to to get out of them so far, and again, this comes from a completely unrelated request. We’re not exactly dealing with the Dewey Decimal system here.

Read the SOP embedded below, or on the request page:

Image by Patrick Thompson via Wikimedia Commons