November 10, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1355

Iranian TV Drama ‘Guantanamo’. How Abu Ghuraib Photos were Made Public

November 10, 2006
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 1355

On November 4, 2006, the Iranian channel Al-Kawthar TV (formerly Sahar 1 TV) aired a drama called "'Remember Your Dreams' or 'Guantanamo.'" The film purports to show how the Abu Ghuraib photos were made public,and how the evil of the fictional U.S. Army Major Rosenthal was exposed, through the efforts of fictional characters: former Guantanamo detainee Dr. Mustafa Nasser, U.S. Army Corporal Jennifer Smith, Lawyers Without Borders activist Andre Mahfuz, Mahfuz's former fiancée, journalist Christine Lemoine, and a helpful Beirut hotel receptionist. The story is set in Guantanamo and in Beirut. The film's credits state that the film was shot in Lebanon and thank IRIB offices in Beirut, Al-Manar TV in Beirut, Lebanese Ministry of Defense, Lebanese Ministry of General Security, Lebanese Interior Ministry, Beirut International Airport and Customs, Beirut Municipality, UNESCO Beirut, and others.


The following are excerpts from the drama.

Prisoner Interrogation at Guantanamo

[Film opens with dream sequence of crashing waves, a man sitting on a chair under a concrete structure by the sea, and a woman sleeping. The woman wakes with a start].

Major Rosenthal, interrogator: "Listen, you asshole, if you are familiar with the map of the world, then you should know that Guantanamo is at the end of the world, and the last place you'd wanna be. Your food strike won't do you any good. Another dead dog in the world won't hurt a thing."

[Footage of prisoners. Camp gate clangs shut; camera shows sign on fence: "Camp Delta, JFT Guantanamo, "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom"]

Mustafa Nasser [in Arabic]: "I have the right to an attorney, or at least treat me according to the Geneva Convention."

Major Rosenthal: "The Geneva Convention is implemented on prisoners of war, and not on dirty terrorists like yourself, who are responsible for the destruction of the Twin Towers."

Corporal Jennifer Smith [translating Rosenthal's words]: "The Geneva Convention is implemented on prisoners of war, and not on dirty terrorists like yourself, who are responsible for the destruction of the New York Towers."

Jennifer Smith [translating Mustafa's words]: "I'm a doctor, and a member of the organization of Doctors Without Borders. Before Afghanistan, I traveled to different countries, like Africa and Latin America. After I came to Kabul, I treated many wounded who opposed the Al-Qaeda. Then I had to escape."

Major Rosenthal: "You are one dirty pig. We have witnesses who say that you used to cooperate with the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. And you don't want to confess, but I know exactly how to make you do that." [Extinguishes cigarette on Mustafa's back; Mustafa screams.]

[Footage of camp. In corridors, prisoners in chains, including Mustafa, are being moved by soldiers.]


[In the cell]

Mustafa Nasser: "There is no way I could have cooperated with the Taliban, because I don't like them to begin with."

Jennifer Smith [translating]: "I will never cooperate with Taliban, I don't even like them. I was only doing my duty, helping the wounded, whether they were in the military or not."

Major Rosenthal: "What about the charity institution you have founded in Beirut?"

Mustafa Nasser: "That institution... I founded it before I left for Kabul, with the help of some charitable people."

Jennifer Smith [translating]: "I founded that institution before I left to Kabul, with the help of some charitable people, in order to help Palestinian children who have lost their families."

Major Rosenthal: "That's a great cover-up for money laundering, and drug money transferred to assets controlled by the Al-Qaeda leaders."

Mustafa Nasser: "This allegation is baseless. It is all a lie."

Major Rosenthal: "You are the bloody liar, you fuck..." [commences beating Mustafa, who screams.]


Mustafa Nasser: "I've told you everything."

Jennifer Smith [translating]: "I've told you everything."

Major Rosenthal: "And of course, you presume that we believe everything you've said, you dirty son of a bitch."

Jennifer Smith [translating]: "All I'm asking for is that you treat me according to the Geneva Convention, and I have all the right to have an attorney."

Major Rosenthal: "Here in Guantanamo you have no rights."

Mustafa Nasser [laughing]: "It's funny."

Major Rosenthal: "What's so funny?"

Mustafa Nasser [in English]: "The way you are speaking reminds me of Taliban, in Kabul. You claim you are fighting for the sake of freedom, but what you do means that you have anything of freedom – just like Taliban."

Major Rosenthal: "You son of a bitch, you speak English, and you didn't tell us." [continues beating him, drags him off by his feet]


At the Guantanamo Hospital

[Mustafa lies unconscious, swathed in bandages. Rosenthal and Smith hover nearby. Rosenthal enters.]

Major Rosenthal: "Have you sent the report to headquarters?"

Doctor: "I'll send it tomorrow, when it's ready. After going on his food strike, he became very weak, so he fell on the back of his head and broke his skull."

Major Rosenthal: "The guards were blamed for this, so they'd better be more careful. Isn't that right, Corporal Smith?"

Jennifer Smith: "Yes, sir. That's right."

Doctor: "What about we watch the baseball game tonight?"

Major Rosenthal: "Not on that TV set in your room."

Doctor: "Don't worry about that. I've fixed it."

Jennifer Smith [to Mustafa]: "Don't pretend to be unconscious. He's gone. Why don't you tell him what he wants to hear? Tell him something so he will leave you alone."

Mustafa Nasser: "My only crime is that I have a passion for helping the poor. The girl I love..."

Jennifer Smith: "Did you love her very much?

Mustafa Nasser: "When someone in this hell asks me such a question, it means Allah has not abandoned me."


Journalists and Lawyers Visit Guantanamo

[Journalists and attorneys get off a bus.]

Major Rosenthal [addressing press conference]: "Ladies and gentleman, this is an invitation for journalists and lawyers to visit this prison, in order to remove the international anxiety regarding all the rumors our enemies have created. You will notice here today that the Guantanamo prison laws correspond totally to the laws found in the United States of America.


[Rosenthal shows them the hospital]

"This small hospital here contains advanced equipment that solves any problem the prisoners may face. Ladies and gentlemen, there's something I have to tell you. Sometimes we officers envy the prisoners, and sometimes we pretend to be ill just to lie down in the air-conditioned clinic, and be relieved from the Guantanamo insect bites. This way, please."

André Mahfuz [approaches Mustafa's bed]: "Mustafa... Mustafa... If you hear me, open your eyes. Are you Mustafa Nasser? I am André Mahfuz from Lawyers Without Borders. I met your family in Lebanon and they asked me to represent you. I would like to get some information from you."

Jennifer Smith: "Sir, what are you doing here?"

André Mahfuz: "I just wanted to take a look inside the prison."

Jennifer Smith: "Leave the room. Now."

André Mahfuz: "Very well."

Jennifer Smith: "I believe you have been informed in the morning that any kind of connection with the prisoners is not allowed."

André Mahfuz: "I'm sorry."

Jennifer Smith [secretly handing him a roll of film]: "Go."


In Beirut: A Press Conference with Guantanamo Detainees

[A playground. Jennifer, in civilian clothes, approaches Mustafa, who is helping a small girl climb ropes.]

Mustafa Nasser: "Welcome."

Jennifer Smith: "Is this the charity institution you established to launder money?"

[Sitting indoors at table, Jennifer and Mustafa spoon-feed children in their laps.]

Mustafa Nasser: "Did you come from Guantanamo?"

Jennifer Smith: From Baghdad. I am with a group of people led by Rosenthal. We were in Abu Ghuraib prison. The Pentagon believes the Guantanamo experience can useful there.

Mustafa Nasser: "I'm not surprised you are telling me these things."

Jennifer Smith: "When someone is being laughed at, he can only trust one of the victims."

Mustafa Nasser: "So you didn't come to Beirut just to see me?"

Jennifer Smith: "Rosenthal is also here. I came with him as an interpreter."

Mustafa Nasser: "What does he want?"

Jennifer Smith: "There is about to be a press conference of people released from Guantanamo, right? He would be happy to gather information about the organizers and what is said there."

Mustafa Nasser: "Is that all?"

Jennifer Smith: "He may have another mission. I don't know, but they have something of importance that has to do with you and the French lawyer."


[Outside the hotel. Mustafa waits. Jennifer emerges with Rosenthal.]

Major Rosenthal: "What's wrong?"

Jennifer Smith: "I'm not feeling well. I have a headache."

Major Rosenthal: "Okay, go rest in your room."

[She goes back into hotel. Mustafa follows her.]

Mustafa Nasser [to hotel receptionist]: "Good evening."

Hotel receptionist: "Hello and welcome. How can I help you?"

Mustafa Nasser: "I need a guide book on archaeological sites in Beirut."

Hotel receptionist: "Just a minute." [She brings a pamphlet and slips a room key inside it]

Mustafa Nasser: "Thank you."


André Mahfuz [at press conference]: "Lawyers Without Borders congratulates the whole world on the release of the first prisoners from Guantanamo. Since the days of the incarceration of the Afghan prisoners, it has been clear to us that their clear to us that this prison, built by the U.S. government, does not respect the Geneva Convention or American law. Our organization has made a great effort to the draw the attention of international legal organizations, in order to force the U.S.A. to respect the rights of prisoners, including the right to an attorney and a fair trial. We have learned that no charges have been made against 150 prisoners, yet they are imprisoned in Guantanamo in inhumane conditions."


[In hotel corridor outside Rosenthal's room]

Jennifer Smith: "Is everything okay?"

Guard: "Of course, I thought you had gone to the conference with Mr. Rosenthal."

Jennifer Smith: "Well, I wasn't feeling very well, so I preferred to come and rest in my room."

Guard: "If you need help, I'm at your service."

Jennifer Smith: "If I need anything, I'll let you know."

Guard: "I hope so." [Mustafa comes up behind the guard and hits him, knocking him unconscious. He unlocks the room with the key given him by the receptionist, and he and Jennifer drag the guard inside.]


[At the press conference]

Released prisoner A: "They put me in an iron cell and tied my hands. When they took the sack off my head, I found myself in a large green hall, surrounded by barbed wire. They left me there for three days. There was an American guy whose face was covered. He spoke Arabic and translated for the American interrogator. They thought I was a member of Al-Qaeda. They took turns beating me. The first, then the second, then the third, then the fourth... For three days they gave me nothing to eat. Nothing. Then they put a sack over my head and moved me to a steel cell. There they banged my head against the bars of the cell, with all their might."

Released prisoner B: "They used psychological methods on us, like naked female investigators, huge wild dogs, and other weapons."

Released prisoner C: "They gave me orders to remove my clothes. When I refused, they stripped me by force. They stripped me by force, and began scratching my body and chest. Then they forced me to put my hands over my head, and they started to torture me severely. I fainted. Then they woke me up. They woke me up, removed the sack from my head, and then one of them came, and urinated on me. He urinated on my body. He urinated... on everything."

In hotel room, Jennifer and Mustafa conduct a frantic search.

Released prisoner D: "One day they told me: 'If you don't tell the truth, our boys will rape you.' So I spit in the investigator's face. They beat me madly and sent me to my cell, but they did not rape me."

Released prisoner A: "I almost died from the torture. They transferred me to the clinic. I was treated there for two weeks, but they took me out before I was completely healed, because they feared the journalist who came to tour the prison."


A Frantic Search

[In hotel room, still searching]

Jennifer Smith: "If I had the slightest suspicion that you were connected to Al-Qaeda, I would have killed you without hesitation."

Mustafa Nasser: "It all makes sense now, but there is still one thing I don't understand. You – how did you know that the documents were with Rosenthal?"

Jennifer Smith: "Once he got drunk, and invited us to his room to see the photos. Are you happy now?"

Mustafa Nasser: "Sorry, I didn't want to intrude in your private life."

Jennifer Smith: "Everyone makes mistakes in life."


[At press conference]

André Mahfuz [at press conference]: "Ladies and gentlemen, I call upon the intellectuals who are struggling for peace, and upon all reasonable people, to rebel against this force, which seeks to dominate the entire world. A world dominated by one single nation is a frightening world. 9/11 gave the U.S. a strong pretext for spreading its power over the entire world. Another attack will convince the U.S. that in order to save democracy, you must first destroy it. If you accept this logic, historians will have a hard time explaining why the golden age of democracy lasted only 200 years. We will sadly ask ourselves how human beings like us, through cowardice, could bring the world back to the worst moments of human history. Thank you."


[In Rosenthal's room].

Jennifer Smith [holding up CD in case]: "I found it."

Mustafa Nasser: "Great. Why aren't you coming?"

Jennifer Smith: "You better go alone."

Mustafa Nasser: "What about you?"

Jennifer Smith: "I have to think about what I should do."

Mustafa Nasser: "From now on you are in danger. We must remain together, at least until we get the CD to the press. You've done a great thing. Thank you."


The Theft Discovered

[In the hotel corridor]

Major Rosenthal: "Where the hell is the guard who was here?" [enters room]

Staff member: "What can I say, sir?"

[They enter room to find guard gagged and bound and the room ransacked. Rosenthal lets out a scream]


The Photos on CD

Mustafa Nasser: "According to American research of Arab culture, the Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment. They regard sex as something personal, which should not be made public. Humiliating the prisoners and taking degrading photos of them can turn them into spies for us, out of fear that the photos will reach their families and friends. This is what Rosenthal and his men are after."

Christine Lemoine, former fiancée of André Mahfuz: What photos?"

[Mahfuz inserts CD into computer]

André Mahfuz: "The CD won't open, Mustafa."

Mustafa Nasser: "Are you sure?"

André Mahfuz: "No, it is asking for a password."

Mustafa Nasser: "My God..." [calls Jennifer, who is keeping watch outside]

Jennifer Smith: "What is going on?"

Mustafa Nasser: "The CD won't open. We need the password. Do you remember the tattoo on Rosenthal's arm?"

Jennifer Smith: "On his right wrist?"

Mustafa Nasser: "Yes."

Jennifer Smith: "What about it?"

Mustafa Nasser: "There is an image just like it on the computer."

Jennifer Smith: "It's a picture used by Satan worshippers. I've seen it on the Internet on several times."

Mustafa Nasser: "Satan? I think 'Satan' is the password."

[Mahfuz types in password. Slideshow of Abu Ghuraib photos begins]

André Mahfuz: "We must get the photos to the media as fast as we can, don't you think?"

Mustafa Nasser: "Yes, but who can guarantee us that the media will show them?"

André Mahfuz: "Don't worry. I will send an e-mail to my former fiancée. She has connections with international news agencies."

[Car pulls up]

Jennifer Smith: "Mustafa, it's Rosenthal."

Mustafa Nasser: "How did they know we were here?"

André Mahfuz: "What going on, Mustafa?"

Mustafa Nasser: "They are coming here."

André Mahfuz: "Who?"

Mustafa Nasser: "Rosenthal. Let's go."

André Mahfuz: "These stairs lead to the back of the building, let's take them."

Mustafa Nasser: "No, you'd better go, and I'll stall them. Take the CD with you and get it quickly to the media."

A Shootout

[Jennifer and Mustafa emerge from a building, behind Christine. Christine speaks to armed men who appear to be police officers.]

Christine Lemoine: "I think there has a misunderstanding. I am Christine Lemoine, André's former fiancée. This is Mustafa Nasser, and this is Miss Jennifer. They are friends of André's."

Policeman: "I have orders to take you to the police station, and there everything will be made clear."

Christine Lemoine: "But I ask you not to treat us like criminals."

Policeman: "I think you are right."

[Mustafa, Jennifer, and Christine exit the gates of the building. Jennifer recognizes one of the men.]

Jennifer Smith: "Wait, they are not cops."

[Gun battle ensues. Jennifer is hit but manages to shoot one of the men as Nasser runs out of ammunition.]

Christine Lemoine: "Jennifer."

Mustafa Nasser: "Don't go."


Prisoners Threatened with Dogs, Rape of Innocent Sister

[Prison. Rosenthal threatens a group of prisoners with dogs.]

Major Rosenthal: "Now, you look and see what happens to anyone who doesn't cooperate with us. Bring his sister out of the women's prison."

Prisoner: "Please, don't do anything to her."

Female prisoner: "Let me go, I haven't done anything. I'm innocent."

Major Rosenthal: "This is a beautiful sight isn't it? Now we're going to start."

Female prisoner: "Where is Islam? Where are my brothers? Where is Allah? Let me go. Get away from me."


Jennifer Envies the French, "Who Haven't Drowned in This Filthy Swamp"

[A hotel room]

Jennifer Smith [to Christine]: "There is a Chinese saying that goes: When you save a person's life, you are forever responsible for his life. This is what happened between Mustafa and me. Before the events of 9/11, I had a normal life. I graduated from Columbia University in Arabic literature. I worked at a language institute. My fiancé, Richard, had an important position in the Twin Towers. Only one week was left before our wedding, and then it happened. Richard was one of the thousands who died there. After this, I decided to volunteer for the army, and to dedicate my life to fighting terrorism. A year later, they sent me to Guantanamo. There, I felt something was wrong. After that I was transferred to Abu Ghuraib. The situation there was even worse. The American army entered Iraq under the pretext of liberating its people, but until now there have been 100,000 victims of our attack. The women and men who were under dictatorial rule for years subjugated to a tyrannical regime for years have come under our control – not because they have anything to do with Al-Qaeda or terrorism, but because they opposed our presence in their country. There, I felt I was being laughed at. The oil companies and the security agencies signed contracts with the Pentagon and the CIA. They pocketed millions of dollars. When I found out that Rosenthal was among the founders of these organizations I couldn't stand it any longer. Honestly, I envy you French people, who haven't drowned in this filthy swamp."


Climax at Crusader Fortress by the Sea

Christine Lemoine: "I will give you this CD in return for André, and we're even."

Major Rosenthal: "That's a very good idea, but I'm sorry, I can't do this."

Christine Lemoine: "Why not?"

Major Rosenthal: "Emile told me that when André spoke to Mustafa on the phone. He mentioned that you are his wife, and that was nothing but a lie and a hint to something else. That's why I asked my men to get something out of André, and I guess they tried too hard."

Christine Lemoine: "No.

Major Rosenthal: "Ma'am, your ex-fiancée is dead."

[Cut to scene of Andre, alive but tied to chair under concrete structure by sea]

Christine Lemoine: "No, you're lying. I don't believe you. André is not dead

Major Rosenthal: "I'm sorry, ma'am. I'm really sorry."

Christine Lemoine: "I shouldn't have left him alone. He told me that chance comes only once."

Major Rosenthal: "Give me the disk."

Christine Lemoine: "They told me you were the major in Abu Ghuraib and Guantanamo."

Major Rosenthal: "So what?"

Christine Lemoine: "Lord of the Rings... "

Major Rosenthal: "What do you mean?"

Christine Lemoine: "In the movie, there was an evil power, who wanted to gain the rings in order to control the world. Dirty animals. André was right to compare you to them.

Major Rosenthal: I told you to give me the disk, ma'am."

Christine Lemoine: "No!" [Rosenthal gives command to his men to attack her]

Mustafa Nasser [appearing out of nowhere]: "Nobody moves. Nobody moves, or I blow out the brains of this murderer. Drop your weapons! Drop your weapons!"

Major Rosenthal: "I knew that we'd meet again, Mustafa."

Mustafa Nasser: "This will be the last meeting, Major. Take the CD, and leave quickly."

Christine Lemoine: "What about you?"

Mustafa Nasser [to Christine]: "Leave here. Go! [to Rosenthal] Well, Major, it's payday."

Major Rosenthal: "What are you talking about? You were our guest in Guantanamo, and when we knew that you were innocent, we set you free. So I owe you nothing, but you stole something from me, and you have to pay."

Mustafa Nasser: "At least by exposing the CD, André's blood is not spilled for nothing." [Rosenthal's men shoot Mustafa]

Major Rosenthal: "Finish him. I want to send him as a Christmas present for Corporal Smith. You come with me." [Exits. Mustafa, who has been playing dead, kills men].


The Secret of Abu Ghuraib is Out

[Rosenthal exits car amid flock of reporters]

Reporter A: "Mr. Rosenthal, is it true that you were one of the designers of the Guantanamo tortures?"

Major Rosenthal: "No, that's not right."

Reporter B: "Why have you traveled to Lebanon?"

Major Rosenthal: "I came here for some leisure time, just to relax."

Reporter B: "And why are you leaving?."

Major Rosenthal: "Because of my wife. You know there are lots of beautiful women in Lebanon, I don't want to hurt her feelings."

Reporter C: "Is it true you have come under the cover of a plan created by the Pentagon, and you were responsible for transmitting the new methods of torture from the Guantanamo prison to Abu Ghuraib prison?"

Major Rosenthal: "No, that's not true."

Reporter D: "Is it true that you are one of the main stock holders of an American security service, and that you have received hundreds of thousands of dollars maintained by the gain of Iraqi oil in return for information to U.S. Army intelligence and security services?"

Major Rosenthal: "I have absolutely no idea about this."

Reporter E: "Sir, is it true that the nude pictures of prisoners, which were in the press, were taken by your men to be used for blackmailing, in order to cooperate with you?"

Major Rosenthal: "I have no information about this."

Reporter F: "Could you tell us your comment on the pictures of Abu Ghuraib prison, which was printed in the newspaper?"

Major Rosenthal: "No comment. [Answers phone]: Hello."

Mustafa Nasser [phoning from airport]: "You're finished, Rosenthal. Dig your own grave by yourself."

Major Rosenthal: "Do you think anything will change if the truth about the photographs was revealed?"

Mustafa Nasser: "At least people all over the world will discover the crimes you and your superiors committed in the name of democracy."

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