WASHINGTON – Sado-masochistic best-seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” is popular reading among high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, officials told a visiting congressional delegation.
“Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by (Camp Seven detainees) is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ ” House Democrat Jim Moran said, in comments confirmed Wednesday by his spokeswoman.
“They’ve read the entire series in English,” said Moran, who supports moves to close the U.S. detention facility. “I guess there’s not much going on. These guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.”
The unexpected revelation came during a tour that delegation members took with the base commander, the chief medical officer and the officer in charge of once-secret Camp Seven, the most secure part of the facility.
British author E.L. James has sold more than 70 million copies of her erotic romance trilogy of novels, which depict the use of handcuffs and blindfolds during sex. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the first in the series.
Camp Seven is maximum security, and its high-value detainees — including five men accused in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — are often hooded and handcuffed when transferred to other parts of the facility. Journalists are allowed to visit Guantanamo, where detainees have access to censored reading material, but Camp Seven is off limits.
“We don’t discuss our high-value detainees except in the most generic terms,” Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale said. “Further, we do not discuss the assertions made by members of Congress.”
Moran’s spokeswoman said the lawmaker “does not care” what the high-value detainees are reading. “His larger point was that they do not represent the majority of detainees at Guantanamo, 86 of whom have been cleared by the Defense Department . . . to be transferred to other countries for release or continued detention abroad.”