Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo Game

May 26, 2009 -

A British Muslim who spent three years in the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility is serving as a consultant on the upcoming Xbox 360 and PC game Rendition: Guantanamo, according to Deadline Scotland.

As GamePolitics reported in March, Rendition: Guantanamo centers around a near-future version of the controversial prison in which mercenaries are in control and scientists conduct experiments on detainees.

Moazzam Begg (left), who was picked up as a suspected Al Qaeda member by Coalition forces in Pakistan, is assisting Glasgow-based game developer T-Enterprise. Begg claims to have been tortured during his stay at Guantanamo. T-Enterprise exec Zarrar Chishti commented on Begg's participation in the project:

We approached Moazzam because it’s very hard for us to know how to design the layout of the prison and he helped. He came up two weeks ago to give his input on what we were working on...

Due to the controversial subject matter, T-Enterprise appears eager not to step on any official toes. Deadline Scotlan reports that the developer had sought advice and permissions from law enforcement and political officials. Chisti explained:

There are certain rules we can’t break after meeting politicians so we are not making the game too extreme. We have had a lot of hate mail about this, mainly from America...

 

But no US or British soldiers get killed in [the game]. The only ones being killed are mercenaries. We have set it in January 2010 because that’s when we think the camp will be closed. We are making a statement. We did not want Guantanamo to be forgotten.

Begg, who wrote a book about his time at Guantanamo, has a financial stake in the project. He spoke of his time detention:

I was put in solitary confinement with no access to the outside world and no explanation as to why I was being detained. My wife gave birth to my son six months after I was arrested and I saw him for the first time when he was three years old. It would be wrong to say I’m not angry but I’m willing to forgive 1000 times over...

The only thing I am concerned about it making sure the game does not misrepresent the prisoners. This will not demean the reality of Guantanamo but it could bring those issues to people who would not usually think about it.


Comments

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

Sorry but you don't get put in Camp X-Ray for no reason. These men were picked up deep within Taliban terrority (not sure if it was him or another, but one was shot because he was an enemy combatant but still managed to claim he was innocent and got away with it) but due to political pressure and the fact that these men had British passports (albeit with a deep hatred for the country) were basically allowed to get away with murder.

He may claim innocence, but there is no smoke without fire, and thanks to the bungled operation of the Americans and their human rights abuses it allowed guilty men like Begg to get off without even a trial. And it's also let him make a lot of money out of it too, not bad for someone who likes to preach hatred about the West.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

Another reader asserts a variation of the often repeated misconception that the Guantanamo captives were "captured on the battlefield".  In this instance the other reader asserts that they were captured "deep within Taliban territory". 

I know the Bush administration regularly repeated this bald-faced lie.  But the Department of Defense was forced, due to a court order to comply with a FOIA request, to publish the actual memos that detailed the specific allegations offered to justify the captives detention.  And those DoD documents simply do not support the Bush administration's bald-faced lie that the captives were all captured on the battlefield.  What those documents make clear is that most captives were captured at Pakistan's border crossings, by Pakistan border guards; captured after escaping the war zone, and arriving in Pakistan; or were captured by unscrupulous border guards, eager to cash in on the reward the USA would pay for any foreigner or alleged Taliban fighter.

The reason why Begg, and any of the other captives returned to countries that respect the rule of law weren't charged with crimes upon their return is that there is no evidence any of these men committed crimes.  Please don't claim Begg "got away with murder". 

Regarding the claim "There is no smoke without fire" -- Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's Chief of Staff, recently confirmed that the Bush cabinet were well aware, from early on, that Guantanamo was chock full of innocent men.  According to Wilkerson the Bush cabinet was prepared to hold, and interrogate, innocent men, based on a "Mosaic theory".  They might know something, some passing detail, that they didn't know would be the key missing link to finding a terrorist plot, merely by passing through the general area where the actual terrorist were, or had been. Go ahead, look it up.

The actual Guantanamo situation was/is much more shameful than is currently recognized.  I've read all the Guantanamo documents.  Even after repatriating over 500 men, Guantanamo continues to contain a very large fraction of totally innocent men, and another large fraction who could be considered to be POWs, but who never had any tie to terrorism.  Only a couple of dozen men had a meaningful tie to terrorism.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

I haven't seen any posts by you before in any other topics (I apologise if you have made posts previously) but your textbook comments do come across as though they were written by some pressure group, as though you were someone searching the Web for such topics to post in without any regard for the original aim of the website.

Of course your comments are particularly biased (you obviously have an agenda, I even wonder whether you are a lawyer). Regardless there is a particular failure on your part to actually detail the (with proven links) terrorists that were in Guantanamo such as Abdullah Ghulam Rhasoul.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

So everyone in taliban territory is a member of the taliban? You should explain that to the people in Western Pakistan (where this guy was captured).

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

He should explain why there is Al-Qaeda money in his bank account. He should explain why he spent most of his time in Afghanistan (and there has and will be a strong Taliban presence in Pakistan also). All the information that we have had has come from him and the reasons he has given for his innocence. As a British passport holder, we the UK instantly believe that he must be innocent (even though he preached hatred for the West a long time before he was captured, and part of the reason why he was), and due to his nationality it enabled him to get political pressure put against the US government for his release).

We have not really heard the reasons for his detention, we have not heard the full story, only his side. Again as I have said before it may not have been him, but one of the "British" detainees was actually found in a Taliban trench with other Taliban fighters because he was fighting with them, yet due to his nationality was able to claim innocence and got away with his crimes.

America messed up, they should have put the people on trial early on, but as they didn't and held them for years, no one had the heart to actually put the people in court due to the dodgy human rights ground that America stood on.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

You claim Begg had "al Qaeda mony in his bank account"?  Why shouldn't Begg sue you for this slander?  I have been following Begg's story and this is the first time I have heard a rumor he had any contact with al Qaeda money. 

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

You obviously haven't been following his story that close then.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1434915/Moazz...

As well as the fact that you have no knowledge over the anonymity the Internet brings. It's rather ironic that you sue I should be sued for slander when I simply state one of the reasons behind his detainment, yet all the time on this site contains a vast amount of slanderous comments made to anti-gamer campaigners. But then again he would have to prove his innocence which is still lacking.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

You write */"America messed up, they should have put the people on trial early on, but as they didn't and held them for years, no one had the heart to actually put the people in court due to the dodgy human rights ground that America stood on."/*

The Bush administration initially had no reservations against laying charges based on evidence wrung from captives through torture.  The Bush administration had no reservations against trying men on secret evident the suspects couldn't even learn in order to try to refute.

You have it totally wrong.  The reason the Bush administration laid so few charges in it military commissions was because it had no evidence, not even trumped up evidence wrung through torture, against the other 760 men.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

PROTIP: Hatred of a country is reasonable when that country DETAINS PEOPLE FOR NO REASON. I'd despise any country that picks people off the street because they MIGHT be a terrorist. They could be Al Queda's head secretary and that still doesn't give coalition forces the right to torture/detain them for SEVEN YEARS.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

What are you talking about? Detained for no good reason?! There was a time when the only criteria needed for detention by coalition forces was being male under the age of 70 and able to carry an AK-47 (i.e., you weren't a quadruple amputee).  

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

Actually, it was worse than that.  Nasrat Khan was a half-blind grandfather, in a walker.  He made his way to the prison where he son Hiztullah Nasrat was being held, to make inquiries, and he was taken in to custody too.

Why was his son taken into custody?   His son was accused of guarding an armory of weapons.  The transcripts from their Tribunals record that the Nasrats claimed it was an official Ministry of Defense armory.  The transcripts acknowledge that the Hiztullah claimed he had been officially put in charge of guarding that armory, by Rahim Wardak, and had requested he be sought out for a witness statement on his behalf.

The transcripts acknowledged that, according to the Nasrats, Rahim Wardak was an official of the Afghan Ministry of Defense.  But they claimed that the US State Department in Afghanistan had attempted to find him -- without success.

This is a shocking claim.  Rahim Wardak is the actual MINISTER OF DEFENSE.

Other feeble grandfathers were rounded up and sent to Guantanamo.  Mohammed Fiz, who claimed to be 100 years old (and looked it) was one of the first captives to be returned, after only one year in captivity.  He was not only half blind, but half deaf too.  The New York Times described him babbling like a child.  He had been apprehended from his hospital bed.  Why?  He was said to have been in possession of a "Taliban identity card" -- which, however, once properly translated, turned out to be a simple Kabul City bus pass.

Abdul Razzaq Hekmati was another grandfather who sought a witness statement from a member of Hamid Karzai's cabinet, only to be told the State Department couldn't find him.  He stood accused of plotting to rescue Taliban leaders from a Northern Alliance prison.  The accusation was completely backwards.  He and his sone had actually rescued Ismail Khan, and two other Northern Alliance leaders, from a Taliban prison in 1999.  The Taliban offered a $1 million bounty for his capture.

The claim that the State Department couldn't find him was an even more disgusting bald-faced lie in his case, because Ismail Khan, the current Afghan Minister of Energy, personally sought out the American ambassador, on his own initiative, to explain to him that Hekmati was an innocent man, a hero.

The officers who reviewed Hekmati's file, in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, kept admonishing him, for failing to produce letters, from home, substantiating his claim he rescued Northern Alliance leaders -- pointedly ignoring Hekmati's plea that none of his mail was getting through, that he hadn't received a single letter, a single reply to any of the letters he  sent out.

Hekmati died of cancer in Guantanamo on December 30, 2007.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

I don't see the prison being closed anytime soon, so this game isn't really nessecry

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

The problem with Guantanamo is that instead of actually solving any problems, it simply creates terrorists.

Let me explain. If I was picked up off the street by British forces and kept in a camp for 3-7 years for no reason, you can bet your ass that as soon as I got out I would find a way to hurt some British people. Same with any other country. Keeping people detained for no reason because they MIGHT be a terrorist will only make them even more angry at your country and will only increase the chances of them actually wanting to terrorize your country.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

The thing that ticks me off is the people that are saying we're putting the country in danger if it's closed. They're still going to be in A prison, so what's the difference? Being in a prison outside of the country isn't going to make them... not think, or something.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

Now this is the way to do a videogame about a current event.  They've obviously put plenty of thought into how they want to present and market themselves, and they've managed to collaborate with someone who isn't actually an enemy combatant.

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

But he WAS, otherwise he wouldn't have been in Guantanamo to start with! (To us G.W. Bush logic anyways!)

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

 LOL

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo Game

And people thought 6 days kicked up a storm....

Re: Former Detainee Is Consultant on Upcoming Guantanamo ...

Moazzam Begg is featured in the documentary, "Taxi to the Dark Side," which explores interrogation (torture?) techniques employed by the U.S. in the War on Terror. I think the U.S. may have messed up when they scraped him up off the street because he's educated, thoughtful, well-reasoned, and speaks better English than the average American. Not at all your typical detainee. Which makes the re-telling of his experiences all the more atypical. 

 
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