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Fifty Shades of Guantanamo

A Guantanamo detainee reading in Camp 6 on March 30, 2010, in a photo reviewed and cleared for release by the U.S. Department of Defense. MICHELLE SHEPHARD/TORONTO STAR


He gazes at me for a moment, bewildered, as if I'm some kind of science experiment.

"You are in a bad temper this morning."

"It was just a shock, that's all," I repeat petulantly.

Clasping the lapels of my robe, he pulls me into a warm embrace, kisses my hair, and presses my head against his chest. I'm distracted by his chest hair as it tickles my cheek. Oh, if I could just nuzzle him!

(Fifty Shades of Darker, EL James, #1 New York Times Bestseller)


This is what Guantanamo's "high-value" detainees - the men held in a the prison's secret Camp 7, some of whom are on trial for the 9/11 attacks - are reading?  

So says Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). Following a tour of the prison last week, Moran told Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly that the erotic "Fifty Shades" triology was popular in Gitmo.

"Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the (high-value detainees) is Fifty Shades of Grey," Moran said. "They've read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it," Moran told the HuffPost. "I guess there's not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell."

There have been other strange tales. One detainee reportedly has signed up for Match.com, according to his lawyer Carlos Warner (a skilled attorney at getting Gitmo headlines).


And book and DVD selections have often made headlines in the past. Harry Potter was a favourite. Twilight got luke warm reviews. The 1990's sitcom staring Will Smith, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was reportedly hot recently. There are about 18,000 books (9,000 titles) in Guantanamo's library according to the librarian who asked to be identified during a recent tour as "Milton." But Milton told the New York Times' Charlie Savage that the books are screened if they include "too much sex and violence."

So S&M soft porn delievered to inmates in a part of the prison that the military won't even acknowledge exists?

As The AP's Ben Fox noted on Twitter Monday, "seems a bit dubious?"

Michelle Shephard is the Star's National Security correspondent and author of "Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone." She is a three-time recipient of Canada's National Newspaper Award. Follow her on Twitter @shephardm


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the movie fifty shades of grey
Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. ...

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