John Does 1-570 v. George W. Bush -- declaration of 1LT Wade M. Brown

John Does 1-570 v. George W. Bush -- declaration of 1LT Wade M. Brown  (2005) 
by Wade M. Brown


JOHN DOES 1-570,
Unidentified Detainees
Guantanamo Bay Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
President of the United States, et al.,
Civil Action No. 05-CV-0313 (CKK)


I, Wade M. Brown, pursuant to 28 U.S.C 9 1746, hereby declare and say as follows:

  1. I am a First Lieutenant in the New Jersey Army National Guard and am currently serving as the Officer in Charge (01C) of the S-2S ection within the Joint Detention Operations Group at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I have held this position since October 2004. Prior to becoming OIC, I was the Assistant 0IC from July 2004 through September 2004. In both of these positions, part of my responsibilities are to report directly to the JTF and JDOG Commanders on all issues related to Detainee Mail operations, to include the proper handling and processing of mail sent to and from detainees, processing times, force protection screening and redaction. I oversee the 15 individuals in the screening and processing units and work in the same buildng as such. The following statements provide a general overview of the mail privileges available to these detainees at Guantanamo Bay. I make these statements based upon my personal knowledge and upon information made available to me in the performance of my official duties.
  2. Each individual detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay is given the opportunity to send and receive mail: Detainees cannot lose mail privileges for any reason, including as part of disciplinary action or interrogation. However, some detainees have affirmatively refused to send or receive any mail. Also, in rare cases, pens are temporarily removed from some detainees when appropriate members of the detainee medical care staff determine the detainee may use the pen to inflict harm.
  3. In the six-month period from September 2004 though February 2005, the mail processing unit processed approximately 14,000 pieces of mail sent to or by detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
  4. There are two methods for detainees to send and receive mail --- through the mail delivery and collection system administered by the United States Military, or through the International Committee for the Red Cross ("ICRC"). Legal mail between habeas counsel and the detainees is not processed through either of these two methods, instead that mail is handled under the procedures set forth in the federal court order that covers the habeas cases.
  5. The Military provides each detainee with-two sheets of stationery, four postcards, and six envelopes per month. See Exhibit A. Each detainee is also provided with a soft pen, although certain detainees are not permitted to keep the pens in their cells for security reasons. These detainees are.provided with pens only during the times when they are writing letters. Military officers collect and deliver mail from the detainees approximately six times per month. After mail is collected from the detainees, it is taken to a processing unit. At the processing unit, each piece of mail is translated into English if necessary, screened for inappropriate material and redacted accordingly, and placed in a U.S. Postal Service receptacle affixed with the required postage. This entire process takes approximately fourteen days on average. The processing wit clears approximately 75 pieces of mail each day. Mail that is sent to a detainee must also be cleared through the processing unit and stamped "Approved by U.S. Forces" before it can be delivered to the detainee to whom it is addressed. Incoming mail is alo typically processed within fourteen days on average.
  6. The ICRC also facilitates the delivery of detainee mail to and from Guantanamo Bay. The ICRC pays approximately four visits each year to the detainees for approximately 5-6 weeks per visit. The ICRC provides its own stationery and envelopes to the detainees (although detainees are still required to use military-issued pens), collects the mail from the detainees, and delivers it to the processing unit. After the mail is cleared by the processing unit, it is returned to the ICRC, who delivers it to the intended recipients. The ICRC also collects mail from outside Guantanamo Bay and delivers the mail directly to .the detainees after it is cleared through the processing unit.
I declare under, penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on March 17,2005.


Wade M. Brown
First Lientenant, NJARNG