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Murder at Camp Delta

A Staff Sergeant's Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay

About The Book

The revelatory inside story about Guantánamo Bay—and the US government cover up—by the Staff Sergeant who felt honor-bound to uncover it: “A disturbing account…made with compelling clarity and strength of character” (Publishers Weekly).

Staff Sergeant Joe Hickman was a loyal member of the armed forces and a proud American patriot. For twenty years, he worked as a prison guard, a private investigator, and in the military, earning more than twenty commendations and awards. When he re-enlisted after 9/11, he served as a team leader and Sergeant of the Guard in Guantánamo Naval Base. From the moment he arrived at Camp Delta, something was amiss. The prions were chaotic, detainees were abused, and Hickman uncovered by accident a secret facility he labeled “Camp No.” On June 9, 2006, the night Hickman was on duty, three prisoners died, supposed suicides, and Hickman knew something was seriously wrong. So began his epic search for the truth, an odyssey that would lead him to conclude that the US government was using Guantánamo not just as a prison, but as a training ground for interrogators to test advanced torture techniques.

For the first time, Hickman details the inner workings of Camp Delta: the events surrounding the death of three prisoners, the orchestrated cover-up, and the secret facility at the heart of it all. From his own eyewitness account and a careful review of thousands of documents, he deconstructs the government’s account of what happened and proves that the military not only tortured prisoners, but lied about their deaths. By revealing Guantánamo’s true nature, Sergeant Hickman shows us why the prison has been so difficult to close. “Murder at Camp Delta is a plainly told, unsettling corrective to the many jingoistic accounts of post-9/11 military action” (Kirkus Reviews).

About The Author

Photograph courtesy of the author

Joseph Hickman spent most of his life in the military, first as a marine, then as a soldier in both the army and the National Guard. He has deployed on several military operations throughout the world, sometimes attached to foreign militaries. The recipient of more than twenty commendations and awards, Hickman was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal while he was stationed with the 629th Military Intelligence Battalion in Guantánamo Bay. He is currently working as an independent researcher and Senior Research Fellow at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Policy and Research.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 20, 2015)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451650815

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Raves and Reviews

"Joseph Hickman's chilling account about the "suicides" of three young "war on terror" detainees is the final nail in Guantanamo's coffin that should lead to the closure of the detention facility, once and for all. Hickman risked his life and military career investigating the circumstances behind the deaths of these captives and his journey is laid bare in this gripping narrative about his nearly decade-long hunt for the truth. What he found is revelatory and disturbing. By the time you reach the last page of Murder at Camp Delta, you will understand what "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom" means and why, for Hickman, it was more than just a slogan. Murder at Camp Delta is a game changer. It will go down in history as one of the most important books to be written about the war on terror."

– Jason Leopold, Investigative Reporter, VICE News, Author of News Junkie, a memoir.

"Sgt. Joe Hickman has written a terrific, riveting, and deeply disturbing book. I am shocked by what he reveals. Governments have always tended to suppress embarrassing facts; as the French general staff explained to investigator Col. Picquart during the Dreyfus Affair: "what importance is the innocence of one Jew compared to the reputation of the French Army?" But like Col. Picquart, Sgt. Hickman is compelled by an inner moral code to pursue truth and justice, regardless of the cost to himself. Our country badly needs such men. The truth always matters."

– Thomas Wilner, Counsel of record for Guantanamo detainees before the U.S. Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush and in Boumediene v. Bush

“Disturbing account of abuse and secrecy at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, tied to the deaths of three detainess...[Murder at Camp Delta is] a plainly told, unsettling corrective to the many jingoistic accounts of post-9/11 military action.”

– Kirkus

“[A] disturbing account of the mysterious deaths of three Arab prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in 2006…. [Hickman] makes his case with compelling clarity and strength of character.”

– Publishers Weekly

“If the Seton Hall report on Camp Delta was a seed, and Horton’s article for Harper’s a sapling, then Murder at Camp Delta is the tree in full bloom, its branches reaching into the spooky shadows of the national security apparatus.”

– Newsweek

“This is an important chronicle of the disillusionment of a longtime American soldier…If America is to regain its honor, the truth about Guantánamo must be told, and for this reason Joseph Hickman is, as he says in the opening sentence of his necessary book, a "patriotic American."

– Biographile

Murder at Camp Delta is a book of, by, and for true believers in patriotism and militarism.”


"Compelling... It's clear from his version of ... that there’s still plenty we don’t know about Guantanamo, a prison in which horrifying acts were carried out in the name of every American citizen."

– San Francisco Chronicle

"Murder at Camp Delta may be the book that finally closes Guantánamo Bay."

– The Mantle

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