Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Books Banned at the Guantanamo Bay Detainee Library

The Guantanamo Bay detainee library stocks around 20,000 books in 18 different languages. JK Rowling, Agatha Christie and JRR Tolkien are among its most popular authors.

But some books are banned.
According to the UK' s The Independent, there is no official list of proscribed books at the Guantanamo detainee library. Decisions are made on a book-by-book basis after each volume is read by two officials.

However, there are guidelines in place, books that fall under the heading “Authorised” feature “themes of family, tolerance, moral choices, mental escape, topics that expand the mind”.

There is then a general list of restrictions which covers “topics with potential to create controversy or to train in ways to fight” including:

  • Extremism
  • Militant religious ideologies
  • Racial and cultural hate groups’ ideologies (eg anti-American, antisemitic, anti-western)
  • Military topics
  • Excessive graphic violence
  • Sexual situation (nudity, ads for sexual enhancement substances and/or treating sexual dysfunctions)
  • Physical geography (eg plans of buildings or subway systems that provide information about targets of potential attacks)

Which has led to this current curious list of banned books is:
  • Money by Martin Amis
  • The New Dinkum Aussie Dictionary by R Beckett
  • The Rule of Law by Lord Thomas Bingham
  • Booky Wook Two by Russell Brand
  • Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking Our Declaration of Independence by Alan Dershowitz
  • The African American Slave by Frederick Douglass
  • The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth
  • I’m Not the Only One by George Galloway
  • Blair’s Wars by John Kampfner
  • Futility by Wilfred Owen
  • Hidden Agendas by John Pilger
  • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
  • An Honourable Deception: New Labour, Iraq and the Misuse of Power by Clare Short
  • Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Bad Men by Clive Stafford Smith
  • Injustice by Clive Stafford Smith
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  • Puss in Boots
  • Cinderella
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Bible  
Vice magazine has added a few more titles which also appear to be banned to the list:

  •  A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre 
  • Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture by Ian Cobain 
  • Interventions by Noam Chomsky (a collection of opinion pieces) 
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 
  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh 
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
I just sent a copy Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable to the library, just so to government officials will have to read it.



  1. That is brilliant, Bob. Can it be the start of a campaign? Send 1 libertarian book every week. I'll donate to the cause.

    1. how about '"