Anne Leanos

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Anne Leanos
Nationality USA
Occupation Naval officer, University administrator
Anne Leanos leads a celebration of International Women's Month, at a screening of 'Hidden Figures'

Anne Leanos is an officer in the United States Navy Reserve.[1] She is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.[2] In 2017 Leanos was recalled to serve as spokesperson for Joint Task Force Guantanamo.[3]

In December 2017 the oldest individual held in Guantanamo, Saifullah Paracha was denied permission to read a book drafted by a relative of a victim of the collapse of the World Trade Center, on September 11th, 2001.[4] The book was entitled "September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning Tragedy into Hope for a Better World," and was provided to Paracha by his lawyer, Shelby Sullivan-Bennis. Leanos, as Public Affairs Officer, was only authorized to say the censors had followed an official procedure, which she could not publicly explain.

In 2009, when United States President Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush the individuals held in Guantanamo started to receive art classes. In 2018 it fell to Leanos to explain the position taken by the US military that the US Government owned all intellectual property rights to the artwork prisoners created -- not the prisoners themselves.[5]

In February 2018 Leanos hosted the first tour of the base in more than six months.[6] In his account of that tour David Welna noted how Leanos didn't explain new, more restrictive rules, and implied policies. He noted how she described the camp's primary mission of the camp was "the safe, humane care and custody of law-of-armed-conflict detainees," while, under the Obama administration the mission had been the "safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of enemy combatants"

In October 2018 Carol Rosenberg contrastred the Guantanamo Library's commemoration of banned book week, with the inexplicable censorship of books donated to the captives' library.[7] She noted Leanos attempts to defend that censorship.


  1. James Braswell (2018-03-01). "Guantanamo Bay residents kick-off Women’s History Month". Joint Task Force Guantanamo (Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba). Retrieved 2018-06-21. "Naval Station Guantanamo Bay residents celebrated Women’s History Month with a kick-off event hosted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Maritime Security Detachment at the Downtown Lyceum here, March 1, 2018. The event opened with keynote speaker, Cmdr. Anne Leanos, JTF-GTMO public affairs director, and featured a special screening of the movie 'Hidden Figures.'" 
  2. "Anne Leanos: what glass ceiling?". Women Veteran Speakers. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "Anne Leanos graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy when only twelve percent of students were women, and served in high-visibility positions within the Navy’s Public Affairs specialty." 
  3. David Welna (2017-12-27). "Lawyers For Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Will Be Allowed To See Where They're Held". KUER. Retrieved 2018-06-21. "The sergeant defers to Commander Anne Leanos, the prison camp's new spokesperson." 
  4. Andrew Buncombe (2017-12-15). "Guantanamo Bay inmate refused access to book on non-violence written by bereaved 9/11 relatives". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-21. "Navy Commander Anne Leanos, a spokesperson for the prison camp, said in a statement: “The Joint Task Force has a standard operating procedure for reviewing items donated to the detainee library. We do not provide details of our standard operating procedures.”" 
  5. Nancy Hoch (2018-03-29). "Raiders of the Lost Art". Indypendent. Retrieved 2018-06-21. "In January, detainee lawyers wrote to the Pentagon to protest the new policy and warn that the government’s claim that it owns the art violates copyright law. They also raised concerns about whether the art program would continue. Higgins told The Indy that “there have been no changes to the ability of detainees to produce artwork” and Leanos said art classes still take place “several times per week.”" 
  6. David Welna (2018-02-20). "On A Tense Press Tour Of Guantánamo's Prison Complex, Signs Of Expansion". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "The email was sent by Navy Cmdr. Anne Leanos. She's the Pentagon's new public affairs officer in Guantánamo. She's also a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Mary Kay saleswoman awarded "multiple Pink Cadillacs and company awards," according to an online bio." 
  7. Carol Rosenberg (2018-10-02). "How Guantánamo, the Navy base with book-banning prison, marks Banned Books Week". McClatchy News Service. Retrieved 2019-10-11.