Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

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Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

By | April 29, 2017

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

Creative Ideas For Decorative Room Dividers

By | April 28, 2017

By Tameka Norris

For those who have a small home, or live in a studio apartment, one of the best and easiest methods to make their home appear larger and to make more efficient use of the available space is to divide some of the larger open plan rooms. For instance you can separate the kitchen into a cooking area and a dining area.

There may be other reasons for dividing a room as well, such as to direct attention to a particular area of the room, to hide clutter created by children, and to manage the light inside the room. If correctly and tastefully handled, this division will add a unique distinguishing characteristic to that house. You can make the house cozier and warm as well as elegant and classical using room dividers.

It can be done in numerous ways and number of room dividers can be used. Some of which we will list below, however you shouldn’t be limited by them but should try to use your imagination creatively.

Types of Room Dividers

Room dividers can be permanent, improvised or flexible. Which type of room dividers to use, will depend on the house owner’s needs and requirements.

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A half height or half width wall can be considered a permanent room divider. Such a wall will go half way across the room and half way up to the roof creating a division in the room. You should opt for a permanent divider only if you are not going to change the room arrangement in the near future. It can be used with other sorts of room dividers to completely separate the room. Such a wall combined with shelves mounted on it will give you more storage space as well. For instance you may want to divide a bedroom into a sleeping area with bed on one side and a study area on the other side. You can then put your books and other study materials on the shelves on the wall.

Shelves, cupboards, and other furniture can be used as improvised room dividers. They can be used in a similar way to a low wall to divide a bedroom or any other room. Large book shelves are commercially available for this very purpose.

You can also use large plants as improvised room dividers. Plants that can be used include palm trees, bamboos, and various crotons, among others. Using exotic, rare and expensive plants can make this kind of division extremely attractive as a decorative method. Wooden frames containing potted plants are commercially available for this purpose. You too can create similar framed pots. Wooden or metal trellis with plants and vines on them can also be used. Some of the plant pots can be hung from the roof. They will create an impression of division when correctly placed even if you can easily communicate between the two sides.

Flexible Room Dividers

Panels and screens are popular flexible room dividers. These panels can be made of various materials and can be moved in to position by sliding or folding. Using their flexibility you can gain a large degree of control over the space in the room. They can be made to match any decorative ideas you have. For instance, by using bamboo and paper screens you can give your rooms an Asian look. Bamboo or fiber glass sticks placed together can be used to create a modern looking attractive room divider screens as well.

If you have the money you can buy some antiques or pseudo antique screens made of wood to add a touch of history and age to your rooms. Using embroidered fabrics mounted on screens is another good idea. The design of the embroidery can be made to match the design of the rest of the room’s wall hangings and upholstery. Since they can be taken down and replaced with other designs, available variety in decoration is endless. Screens and panels also allow you to control the amount of light that filters to each side of the partition.

Curtains are another great flexible room divider. They are easy to install. You have to install the hanging rods on the ceiling. Once installed you just have open or close the curtain to separate or unite the room. The large curtain will then become one of the main decorative items in the both parts of the room. It could set the tone for the whole room. You can vary the curtain’s material, design, and color, to create that tone.

Other types of room dividers include glass dividers, which can be used to create a physical division while maintaining contact between the separate halves of the room. Glass room dividers also create an illusion of extra space by making the rooms appear larger than they are.

You can also create your own room dividers suing everyday materials. For instance using painted cardboard, pictures, or any other material, you can easily create a screen, a panel, or even a sculpture, that is attractive to look at, which can then be used as a room divider.

You can also use lamps to divide a room. Floor lamps placed strategically can do this alone or in combination with other improvised room dividers. The way the light is filtered to each side of the rooms can be used to create an impression of division as well.

About the Author: Tameka Norris has been living in small spaces since she was 10 years old. She now runs a website titled

Furniture for Small Spaces

to help people who go through the same frustrating circumstance of trying to make big bulky furniture fit in places that barely offer enough room. She offers nifty tips and tactics, a Q & A section for people in need of answers, photos of her own small space trials, projects for the DIYer and recommendations on.

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‘Daybreak’ launches on ITV in UK

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‘Daybreak’ launches on ITV in UK

By |

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daybreak, a new breakfast show on ITV in the United Kingdom, launched on Monday at 0600 BST (0500 UTC). The show was hosted by Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles, both of whom previously presented The One Show on BBC One.

Opening the broadcast, Bleakley commented: “Dawn is happening, day is breaking behind us here, it’s a beautiful thing here behind us in the studio.” Chiles then commented: “The sun is up and thank goodness. We spent good money bringing you this view […] at least you can see it. Thank goodness for that.” On the website for The Guardian, Stuart Heritage stated that “[a]lthough it does seem like a continuation of GMTV rather than a bold reinvention, some of the new aspects of Daybreak have worked. Adrian and Christine have done reasonably well and the other new faces all seem like good additions.” The set for the programme features two purple sofas with a large round desk in between the sofas and a skyline of London in a backdrop.

The new programme was followed at 0830 BST (0730 UTC) by another new programme, entitled Lorraine — hosted by Lorraine Kelly — which was broadcast until 0925 BST (0825 UTC). Kelly stressed: “I’ve really missed you. I hope you like our new look and we’ve got a packed show for you today.” The Lorraine set contains a pink sofa, a pink armchair and a large round white desk. The two new programmes are the successors to GMTV — which had its last broadcast on Friday.

Previously, Alison Sharman, ITV Director of Factual and Daytime, explained: “Daybreak plays a key part in ITV’s ongoing transformation and reflects the fact that creative renewal lies at the heart of our schedule, which is being modernised and improved under Peter Fincham. We want to ensure that the core audience of housewives with children keep watching but are also determined to attract new viewers to our revitalised breakfast show. As we approach the next stage of this transformational journey our newly confirmed anchors — Christine and Adrian — will be the lynchpins of Daybreak with their unique and brilliant partnership.”

Man auctions his life on eBay, is disappointed at sale price

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Man auctions his life on eBay, is disappointed at sale price

By | April 25, 2017

Monday, June 30, 2008

After auctioning off his entire life on eBay for A$399,300 (244 912.148) Ian Usher says he is “a little bit disappointed” at the final selling price.

The 44-year-old British immigrant living in Perth, Australia, put all of his worldly belongings up for sale on the popular auction website, including his three-bedroom house and all its contents, his car, motorcycle, jetski, skydiving gear, and his job at a rug store, for which he offered a two week trial period. He even offered introductions to his friends living in Perth.

Usher made the decision to sell his life after his five-year marriage suddenly ended. On his website, alife4sale.com, he explains that “despite my life being busy and fulfilled, I still miss my wife so much. Everything in my home is a reminder of the wonderful past we shared. So, after a year in this house I decided that it is time to sell it and move on.”

It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get.

During the 7 day auction, which ended on Sunday, there were several bogus bids which brought the sale price as high as A$2.2 million, but the final price ended up at A$399,300, which was around A$100,000 less than Usher had hoped for. “I’m a little bit disappointed, but I’m still excited. It’s still enough to move forward and do what I said I was going to do, which is move on to the next part of my life,” Usher said. “It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get.”

According to Reuters, the winning bidder, whose username is “mslmcc”, also lives in Australia, and has a 100 percent feedback rating. Usher says he hasn’t yet been able to figure out who the buyer is, because of the TV crews lined up in front of his home. “I’m trying to find some time to get on the computer and check it out … I haven’t looked (up) anything about them yet,” he said.

Usher now plans to go off in search of a new life. His initial plan, as he describes on his website, was to just walk out his front door with just his wallet and a passport and board a train, with no idea of where to go. He has since launched 100goals100weeks.com, which will document his attempt to complete 100 of his life goals in a span of 100 weeks. Some of these goals include getting a pilot’s license, climbing the Eiffel Tower, learning to play the didgeridoo, and shaking hands with billionaire Richard Branson.

“I was pretty aimless when I started this, and I had a vague notion of adventure, but I’ve come up with a much more solid plan, which is still very adventurous,” Usher says. He invites anyone who is interested to join him on his adventures.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Dan McCreary, Brant

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Dan McCreary, Brant

By |

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dan McCreary is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Brant riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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The Business Of Selling Your Business}

By | April 24, 2017

Submitted by: Pat Munro

If you are considering selling your business or franchise online, you should read this clearly outlined information to ensure you have a successful sale. Yes, you will probably be hiring a company to help you, but knowing the tips and tricks of the business sales trade before hand, will allow you to be involved as much as possible. It is your business after all, and you want to understand everything you can in order to sell it for the most you can.

1 – What is goodwill?

This has nothing to do with donations, but everything to do with value. Goodwill is when a profitable business sells for more than its profitable assets. The value difference is called goodwill.

2 – Confidentiality

Your goodwill can be harmed by insider gossip. If employees, customers, suppliers or shareholders overhear that the business is for sale, it may create a problem. Employees start looking for other job opportunities elsewhere, customers question the standard of products or services they may or may not receive, suppliers reduce their payment terms for fear of instability in the future.

Because of these pitfalls you may want to consider keeping things confidential when forming an exit strategy and selling your business. To keep things confidential, you the seller, should hire a third party to list and advertise your business. Minimize the blatant advertising of your businesses identity, and consider screening potential buyers before you tell them who you are. Also, consider including a confidentiality agreement before disclosing anything about the business. It is important to protect the companies reputation and not lose any goodwill.

There are some very good business and franchise directories online which can help you with this.

3 – How do you decide on an asking price?

Your business financial statements are the main tool in order to decide asking prices.

If you are a large company, you should hire a business appraiser or sales firm in order to properly calculate your companies value and asking price. Remember you sometimes dont know what you have until someone shows you. Reversely, thinking you have more than it is really worth, will send potential buyers running for the hills.

If you are a small company, the sale should be handled by a business broker or sales firm. They will develop and determine a reasonable asking price by looking at more than just your financial statements. For smaller companies, a financial statements purpose is to solely reduce taxes, not show profits. In order to get a real picture of the profits, financial statements should be corrected by adding to the profits any benefits the business owner is getting from his or her business indirectly but that are not necessary for running the business. Remember, the owners salary, asset depreciation, amortization and interest expenses should also be added to the profits.

Once this value has been calculated you will have what is known as Seller Discretionary Earning (SDE). To get a reasonable asking price, this amount should be multiplied by a multiplier.

4 – What is a multiplier?

Most small businesses sell for multipliers between one and three. The determination of these multipliers is more an art than a science. Which is why hiring a broker and an online sales firm will be profitable, they are the artists, and you have the paint.

There are many factors that affect the value of the multiplier. You should know how many years youve had the business. How much cash do you want for the business? How competitive is the industry? Is it a growing business? What is the quality of the location and facility? Is this business/industry attractive to potential buyers? Is the industry growing and by how much? How easy is it to replicate the same business?

For each of these questions, a rate between 1 and 4 is subjectively assigned and finally a combined multiplier is calculated based on the previous rates.

5 – Hire a good online sales firm and get yourself online

I cannot stress enough the value of hiring a good online sales firm. Whether you are selling a business or franchise, or looking to buy one; a great sales firm will guide you through the tedious tasks which will trip you up along the way. They will also have the most up to date listings and attract the best potential buyers to your sale. They know that Google rankings are very important to get your ad read and they will get your company there; as well as providing worldwide coverage and low cost advertising. A good online sales firm will get your advertisement the attention it deserves.

With this information, as well as your own research and homework, you will surely have a profitable sale. Dont try to do it all on your own, the odds are against you. Knowing your company inside and out by following this advice will help you, and whichever company you hire; get a faster, easier and more profitable sale. Good luck.

About the Author: Visit http://www.bcseo.com for

affordable SEO

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Sports Special Gifts Collectables For The Football Fan}

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Submitted by: Teddy Danfield

Do you have difficulty in finding the perfect gift for the football fan in your life? Well look no further, because we have some great football fan gift ideas. Buying a team t-shirt or sweatshirt is a nice gift, but its not special. I want to give you some special or unique sports collectable items.

Their Favorite Team

Who is their favorite football team? This is the starting point towards finding a perfect sport fan gift. Many times a man may like two teams. For instance they may have a favorite college football and NFL team. If this is the case, then you would have multiplied the number of potential football merchandise items.

The selection of a football gift is twofold. One you want to select the correct team. Second you want the item to be useful and it can be displayed. I will assume you have the correct team, so let’s go with useful part of selection process.

Here are two perfect sports fan gift ideas: Glassware and Team Rugs

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Glassware is one best gifts since accomplishes both usefulness and it can be displayed. Guys enjoy drinking their favorite beverage from a glass with their favorite team logo. If they start winning games when they use this new glass it could be his new go to glass when his team plays. Men can be very superstitious when it comes to winning and losing. As the Budweiser commercial says, “it is only strange if they lose.”

An NFL logo team rug is an excellent gift for any sports fan, young or old. If it is for a child it will look great in his bedroom. If it for someone older it can be used in the college dorm room or an office. I know over the years I have seen many team rugs in professional style offices. NFL or college team rugs make a true statement and this makes an excellent sports merchandise gift.

Go with Recent Champions

The Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl 48 and the Florida State Seminoles won the last BCS Championship. Do not buy a t-shirt from the championship team. Reason is simple. They probably bought the t-shirt themselves and they do not need another one. Go with something special like a Seattle Seahawks team photo celebrating the victory. A football collectible would a Super Bowl 48 Championship coin which can be proudly displayed on his office desk.

Winning the final BCS Championship was historic because it is finally the last BCS Championship game. I will not get into the mess the BCS created over the years, but Florida State Seminoles won the college football championship. A championship area rug or welcome mat makes a great football gift because it is something that is useful. Gifts that are useful or can be displayed prominently are usually the best.

Any championship team’s items from past years would be a great idea. It also gives that football fan to recall watching the game with friends and family. This makes gifts special, as they help people recall a great moment in time.

There you have several great sports fan gift ideas for any football fan. It is not hard to find that great NFL or college merchandise at sportsfangalaxy. Do a little research regarding the team and if they won a championship or two. After that you can target the items mentioned in this article: Team Pictures, glassware, rugs or Super Bowl coins. All of these are great items any football fan would enjoy.

About the Author: Teddy Danfield is a sports fan who has an interest in all sports, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college sports. If you are fan of these leagues then you will find a wide selection at

sportsfangalaxy.com

.

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Vintage VW enthusiasts converge at Kelley Park in San Jose, California

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Vintage VW enthusiasts converge at Kelley Park in San Jose, California

By |

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Classic Volkswagens have been arriving in the San Francisco Bay Area over the last several days from many hundreds of miles around in preparations for what many attendees say is the most loved event for air-cooled Volkswagens in Northern California. Today, the Golden Gate Chapter of the Vintage Volkswagen Club of America will sponsor its 33rd consecutive annual Spring Meet at historic Kelley Park, which they advertise as a wonderful location for a gathering. The location is now used by the city as a place to display – and keep for posterity – a museum of buildings salvaged from various developments in the San Jose area in an attempt to keep some of its history, and San Jose markets it as a great setting for a day out with family and friends and do a little sightseeing of the region’s architectural history.

It was reported via email to its members that a contingent of Bus fans from Idaho arrived at a gathering of Karmann Ghia enthusiasts sponsored by the Karmann Ghia Club of North America] in nearby Oakland on Thursday evening as a kick-off to the weekend’s events, which include a Type II gathering known as “The Red Barn” on Saturday AM, and many private parties held by various members of the VW community.

While the City reports that the facility was damaged during recent storms and has been closed to the public for repairs, it assures VW fans that Kelley Park will be open for the Spring Meet.

[edit]

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Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits

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Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits

By |

Monday, April 11, 2005

Anna Ayala, the Las Vegas woman who claims to have found the notorious “chili finger” at a Wendy’s outlet in San Jose, California, has filed lawsuits against other businesses, according to researchers at the Associated Press. Her previous court battles included the national El Pollo Loco chicken-chain, a previous employer, and even General Motors.

Ayala successfully won her suit for medical expenses against El Pollo Loco, after her daughter Genesis contracted salmonella poisoning from eating at the restaurant. However, Ayala lost another suit in 2000 claiming that a wheel fell off her car.

Ayala’s original account of the incident spoke “emotionally and with disgust” to the San Jose Mercury News when she described it to the paper.

“Lies, lies, lies, that’s all I am hearing. They should look at Wendy’s. What are they hiding? Why are we being victimized again and again?” Ayala recently told The Associated Press. Ayala is now in her Las Vegas home, avoiding reporters.

“It doesn’t prove anything,” family spokesman Ken Bono told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My mom has 10 lawsuits. A lot of people have lawsuits. Why would she sue for money? She has plenty of money,” he said.

Nick Muyo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police department, said not to expect new information in the case for at least a week.

“We just want to step back and take a deep breath,” Muyo told Knight Ridder Newspapers. “From a law enforcement point of view, once you establish it is a human finger, you have to wonder is this a case of industrial accident or is this a case of unreported homicide,” he said.

Las Vegas police searched Anna Ayala’s home on Wednesday, retrieving a cooler and other effects from her home, such as a makeup case.

Despite the incident, which has dramatically reduced sales at Northern California Wendy’s outlets, die-hard Wendy’s fans are still turning up for lunch, even at the outlet where the finger was found, at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

“We’ve eaten here for years,” a police officer told the San Francisco Chronicle under the condition that he remain anonymous. “They’re very nice people. When we work Spartan Stadium, we always eat here,” he said.

San Jose City Council candidate Andrew Diaz still eats the chili. And he witnessed the finger discovery.

“I walked away real slow,” Diaz told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I didn’t want any commotion,” he said.

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Standard Operating Procedure changes at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay

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Standard Operating Procedure changes at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay

By | April 21, 2017

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

In an investigation reported on first by Wikinews, Wikileaks today revealed another chapter in the story of the Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) manual for the Camp Delta facility at Guantanamo Bay. The latest documents they have received are the details of the 2004 copy of the manual signed off by Major General Geoffrey D. Miller of the U.S. Southern Command. This is following on from the earlier leaking of the 2003 version. Wikileaks passed this document to people they consider experts in the field to carry out an analysis trying to validate it. Following this, they set out to assess what had changed between 2003 and 2004; including attempts to link publicly known incidents with changes to the manual.

Wikinews obtained the document and did an in-depth analysis. The American Civil Liberties Union had previously made a request to view and obtain copies of the same document, but was denied access to them.

One of the first notable changes to the document relates to the detainees themselves. Previously they read the camp rules during admission processing. Rules are now posted around the camp in detainees’ languages. The English version of the rules is as follows:

  1. Comply with all rules and regulations. You are subject to disciplinary action if you disobey any rule or commit any act, disorder, or neglect that is prejudicial to good order and discipline.
  2. You must immediately obey all orders of U.S. personnel. Deliberate disobedience, resistance, or conduct of a mutinous or riotous nature will be dealt with by force. Be respectful of others. Derogatory comments toward camp personnel will not be tolerated.
  3. You may not have any articles that can be used as a weapon in your possession at any time. If a weapon is found in your possession, you will be severely punished. Gambling is strictly forbidden.
  4. Being truthful and compliance will be rewarded. Failure to comply will result in loss of privileges.
  5. All trash will be returned immediately to U.S. personnel when you are finished eating. All eating utensils must be returned after meals.
  6. No detainee may conduct or participate in any form of military drill, organized physical fitness, hand-to-hand combat, or martial arts style training.
  7. The camp commander will ensure adequate protection for all personnel. Any detainee who mistreats another detainee will be punished. Any detainee that fears his life is in danger, or fears physical injury at the hands of another person can report this to U.S. personnel at any time.
  8. Medical emergencies should be brought to the guards’ attention immediately.

Your decision whether or not to be truthful and comply will directly affect your quality of life while in this camp.

Of concern to groups such as Amnesty International who campaign for the camp’s closure, or Human Rights Watch concerned about prisoner handling under the prisoner of war aspects of the Geneva Convention, is the fact that policy for newly admitted detainees still allows for up to 4 weeks where access to the detainee by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) may be denied. In addition, guards are not to allow ICRC staff to pass mail to detainees.

A new process has been formed which allows guards to determine whether or not a detainee receives awards, or is punished. The form is called a GTMO Form 508-1 (pictured to the right). According to the manual, the form “is used to determine which rewards the detainee will lose or gain,” but “special rewards” can also be earned, outside of the process. One special reward is time allowed outside. Another special reward is a roll of toilet paper, but the detainee cannot share it with others. Doing so will result in “punishment” and confiscation of the roll. If the detainee already has a roll of toilet paper, he is not allowed to have another.

“Guards need to ensure that the detainee doesn’t receive additional toilet paper when the detainee already has it. The amount given to the detainee will be the same amount as normally distributed to the detainee,” states the manual.

No matter how bad a detainee may act, “haircuts will never be used as punitive action” against them, but they can have hair removed for health reasons. They can, however, be segregated from other detainees.

“If a detainee has committed an offense that requires segregation time, even if a segregation cell is not available, the detainee will receive a shave and a haircut for hygiene and medical reasons. If the detainee is IRFed, the haircut and shave will follow the decontamination process,” adds the manual. Barbers are also part of cell searches.

Despite these changes, a great deal of effort has gone into ensuring the furore over detainee abuse does not recur. Rules governing the use of pepper spray (Oleoresin Capsicum, or OC) appear at an earlier point in the manual with considerable expansion. Infractions such as spitting, throwing water at, or attempting to urinate on guards appear as explicitly listed cases where pepper spray may not be used. Extensive decontamination procedures are included in the document, including immediately calling for a medical check on any detainee exposed to pepper spray. This was not previously present.

As a counter to the clearer instructions on use of pepper spray, Wikileaks asserts that many of the stricter rules for guards (referred to as Military Police or MPs in the 2003 manual) aim to reduce fraternisation that may improve detainee morale and adversely influence any interrogation process. Guards are informed in the manual not to take personal mail and parcels within the detention blocks or at any other duty stations. All electronic devices except issued materiel are prohibited, and guards may face disciplinary action should they keep detainees apprised of current affairs or discuss issues in their personal lives.

Additional restrictions on the detainees’ chaplain are included in the revised document. Wikileaks speculated that many of these changes might have stemmed from the widely publicised case of James Yee. Captain Yee, a West Point graduate, served at the Guantanamo Bay base as a Muslim chaplain to the detainees and received two Distinguished Service medals for his work. Following discovery of a list of detainees and interrogators by U.S. Customs in Florida Yee was charged with sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage, and failure to obey a general order. Eventually all charges were dropped with national security concerns being raised should evidence be released.

The most notable changes surrounding the role of the chaplain include its removal as a permanent position on the facility’s Library Working group and its exclusion from the decision process on appropriate detainee reading material. Wikileaks contacted lawyers representing detainees in the camp to perform their own analysis. Their opinion of the changes were that the library operation had been considerably tightened up. Duplicate books are required for the individual four camps to prevent covert use of books to communicate between camps. Periodicals, dictionaries, language instruction books, technology or medical update information, and geography were additions to the prohibited material. Instructions indicate such books must be returned to the source or donor.

The revised SOP manual makes considerable progress on documenting procedures, even those that are remote possibilities. A lengthy addition details rules to follow in the event of an escape or escape attempt. Laced throughout this procedure is an emphasis on having any such incident fully documented and – wherever possible – filmed. The procedure is explicit in how to recapture an escaped detainee with minimal use of force. One additional procedure covers the admission of ambulances to the main base area. A detailed security protocol to ensure only expected and authorised traffic gains access is included, as is a procedure streamlined to ensure the ambulance arrives on the scene as quickly as possible.

Unchanged from the 2003 manual is the set menu of four ready-to-eat meals (Meal, Ready-to-Eat or MRE) issued to detainees. However, additional steps are to be taken for “MRE Sanitization”; supply personnel must remove anything that can damage waste disposal systems— presumably a military term for toilets. Under normal camp conditions, detainees should be fed hot meals as opposed to MREs, but no details on the variety of menu are included.

Wikinews attempted to get feedback on this. US Southern Command passed a query on to Rick Haupt (Commander, U.S. Navy Director of Public Affairs, Joint Task Force at Guantanamo) who responded that “questions were forwarded along with a request to authenticate the leaked document; a response is pending.” At this time no response to emails has been received from the ICRC or Human Rights Watch.

The Pentagon has requested that the document be removed from Wikileaks because “information with the FOUO (For Official Use Only) label is not approved for release to the public.” They then state that the document can be “made available through a Freedom Of Information Act request through official channels.”

 This story has updates See US military confirms authenticity of Standard Operating Procedures for Guantanamo Bay 

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