According to AP:

The Pentagon said Friday that it will investigate a Marine’s sworn statement that guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and that they described it as common practice.

The Marine, a paralegal who was at the U.S. Navy station in Cuba last month, alleges that several guards she talked to at the base club admitted routinely hitting detainees.

“From the whole conversation, I understood that striking detainees was a common practice,” the sergeant wrote. “Everyone in the group laughed at the others’ stories of beating detainees.”

The woman’s name was blacked out of a copy of a two-page affidavit provided to The Associated Press by a civilian defense attorney working with Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, the Marine Corps’ defense coordinator for the Western United States and based at Camp Pendleton.

Meanwhile Patterico has been publishing interviews with Stashiu, an Army nurse who served at Guantánamo.

I pressed for more detail on incidents of excessive force against, or mistreatment of, the detainees. How many such incidents occurred while Stashiu was there? Were the detainees injured badly? Were the offenders court-martialed? What happened to them?

There were maybe 4 or 5 incidents that I heard of. At least one resulted in a courts-martial. The rest were punished because no matter how provoked you were, that was the job. I am not aware of anyone who messed with a detainee without being struck first, but being struck was not a license to retaliate. We were only allowed enough of a response to defend ourselves and disengage or contain the detainee. Any gratuitous response was worth at least a field-grade level non-judicial punishment (fairly harsh and pretty damaging to a career, but not necessarily a career-killer).

Did Stashiu do physical exams in any way as part of his examinations? Did he ever see signs of physical abuse?

We did physical assessments at admission (short of what most would consider a physical exam, but relatively thorough and included vital signs, visual inspection, and questions about history and what brought them in to us.) I saw one injured detainee from a forced cell extraction who had vigorously resisted because he was paranoid and delusional (definitely not faking). He later explained to me how the minor injury happened and told me he didn’t blame the guards. He did remember the incident, but was not in complete control of his behavior at the time. Nothing broken or sutured and quickly treated. No indications of abuse ever came to my attention or I would have reported it.

I asked if any detainees had just disappeared while Stashiu was stationed at Guantánamo? To his knowledge, did any die under suspicious circumstances?

None disappeared or were otherwise unaccounted for to the best of my knowledge. Nobody died under any circumstances, suspicious or otherwise, while I was there.

Perhaps both are right. The guards at Gitmo take a lot of abuse from the terrorists. Stashiu again:

Consider that flinging “cocktails” of urine, feces, saliva, sperm, vomitus, and combinations thereof was threatened daily by detainees and performed several times each week. Also, verbal abuse from detainees was very common. . . . This was in addition to physical assaults on guards with everything from shanks, kicks, elbows, and a variety of rather clever makeshift weapons.

We were told about one female medic who had to have major reconstructive surgery on her face following a detainee assault. She was too close to the beanhole (door opening) and the detainee was able to reach out, grab her head, and pull her face-first into the steel frame of the door, shattering most of the facial bone structure.

Under those circumstance there may well be nasty things said about the terrorists when the guards are off duty. Personally, I’m truly amazed at how much consideration the terrorists have been given. The fact that they can communicate with the outside world is apalling and dangerous to the people who serve at Gitmo and the rest of us. Captain’s Quarters isn’t impressed that terrorists in US custody can communicate with the outside world:

imprisoned terrorists already in our custody have little problem sending mail to their jihadist friends unmolested

This must stop.

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