New Tome Features Poetry of Guantanamo Detainees

The University of Iowa Press will give voice to the poetic ramblings of 17 terrorist detainees in Guantanamo, entitled "Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak." The Wall Street Journal reports:

The collection, translated from Arabic, was compiled by Marc Falkoff, a defense lawyer with a literary bent. Mr. Falkoff, who got a Ph.D. in English before he went to law school, represents 17 Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and he dedicated the book to his clients, describing them in the inscription as "my friends inside the wire."

In addition to religious and sentimental themes most of the poetry is, not surprisingly, riddled with anti-Americanism:

Most of the poems carry political messages denouncing the Bush administration. "America, you ride on backs of orphans/and terrorize them daily," writes Mr. Haj, the al-Jazeera cameraman accused of supporting al Qaeda. "I am a captive, but the crimes are my captors'."

The publication of poetry by detainees has not been declassified before now because its format makes it suspect to coded messages to terrorists on the outside. All of it had to be cleared by the military, with some of those submitted being rejected.

Not available until August, the book is available for pre-sale at Amazon.com. Will it make the New York Times bestseller list?