Apparently Guantanamo Bay detainees aren’t the really big fans of the steamy best seller Fifty Shades of Grey they were reported to be a few weeks ago.
After visiting the U.S. military detention center in Cuba, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said military officials told him the racy E.L. James book was a favorite among the inmates.
Here’s what Moran told The Huffington Post in July:
Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the [high-value detainees] is Fifty Shades of Grey. They’ve read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it. I guess there’s not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.
The military would not confirm this information, saying it does not comment on specific inmate behavior.
However, it seems that Moran’s information may have been inaccurate, at least according to some of the inmates’ lawyers. James Connell, who represents Ammar al-Baluchi, one of the men supposedly behind the Sept. 11 attacks, said a guard gave the book to his client as a joke.
According to the BBC, Baluchi arrived in court this week with a copy of the book, telling his lawyer, “You’ll never guess what I have,” and handed him the novel. Baluchi told Connell that the “fairly worn paperback” had been a gift from a couple of guards. He, however, did not read the book, as he is an “avid” reader of The Economist and Wired magazines.
“He knew that it was some sort of a joke,” Connell told the BBC. “Or some sort of disinformation campaign.”
James Harrington, a lawyer who represents another prisoner, Ramzi Bin al Shibh, also expressed doubts about the Fifty Shades of Grey series.
“I don’t know where it’s coming from,” Harrington told the Associated Press. “It’s something that clearly was planted with this congressman who comes back to Washington and makes a big deal about it, all of which is designed to paint a picture of our clients and the other detainees here which is just not accurate.”
Baluchi, also known as Abd al-Aziz Ali, is the nephew of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who made news about his reading preferences in recent months. In July, the AP reported Mohammed was a big fan of the Harry Potter books and was also allowed to build a vacuum cleaner, among other details.
In April, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage posted several photos of the books that are available in the prison library.
What We're Following See More »
Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."