George W. Bush opened the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in 2002, after the Sept. 11 attacks. A place was needed to hold hundreds of “enemy combatants” that were supposed to be primarily al Qaeda and Taliban operatives.
Prisoners were often held without any criminal charges, and reports of horrific torture were widespread.
At the same time Ron DeSantis, a 27-year-old lieutenant was posted there in early 2006 as a Navy lawyer listed as a ‘scheduler/administrative officer,’ aggressive tactics were adopted to break a hunger strike. An armed clash erupted between detainees and a riot squad in May. Three men were found dead in their cells in the same hour of a single night in June.
Questions have recently been asked as to what Ron DeSantis did during his stint at Guantanamo and if he had any part in the torture and mistreatment of prisoners that took place there.
Interestingly, servicemen and women at Guantanamo do not wear name tags and do not identify themselves. This being the case neither the prisoners nor any outsiders would know with whom they were dealing.
As a JAG lawyer purportedly there to assure prisoner’s rights weren’t being violated, as he also did when next posted to Iraq in 2007, DeSantis’ interactions with detainees would have exposed him to complaints about conditions at the detention center, including accusations of torture and abuse.
At least two former detainees, both who were released without any charges, claims DeSantis was present during force feeding sessions of prisoners.
Some saw the prisoners at Guantanamo as people being held without due process who deserved better treatment under US and International law and should at least have had their guilt verified before being forcibly incarcerated and tortured.
Some, like DeSantis, according to his testimony to a House sub-committee in 2016 saw them as war criminals, and suggested they should be treated as such.
About the writer: Matthew Woodruff is an Independent Journalist and Author who believes in Freely Accessible, Honest and Open Reporting. Visit at MattWoodruffAuthor.com.
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