Piecing together the story

Early in 2007, as the Bush administration indicated that it intended to release most of the detainees at the prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, McClatchy set out to track down as many of the freed prisoners as possible to help determine who they were, what had happened to them in the prisons the Bush administration set up in Afghanistan and Cuba, and what had become of them.

For eight months, reporters Tom Lasseter and Matthew Schofield traveled to 11 countries – from England to Pakistan – and interviewed 66 former detainees. They also interviewed political and military officials in those countries to try to establish the detainees' backgrounds and check their stories.

Lasseter and Schofield also combed through unclassified transcripts of the men's tribunal hearings at Guantanamo, when available, and Lasseter interviewed former White House and Department of Defense officials, former guards, and lawyers for prisoners who had them.

Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg helped conceive and organize the project. In Afghanistan, Dr. Hashim Shukoor provided invaluable assistance. McClatchy Newspapers


The roughest treatment given to detainees in the war on terrorism occurred at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan over a period of 20 months.