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Naming Names at Gitmo

According to an October 21, 2007 article for the New York Times Magazine, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Diaz was the deputy staff judge advocate for Joint Task Force Guantanamo from July 2004 to January 2005. There he was tasked with compiling a list of allegations of prisoner abuse at the base. According to the testimony of Commander Diaz consigned in this article (see extract below), many of the items in his list were not included in the reports of abuse at the base which were made public by the military.

Diaz was assigned to begin compiling a spreadsheet for internal use on the abuse allegations registered at Guantánamo […] In sifting the abuse complaints that prisoners and others had registered at Guantánamo, Diaz did not see mistreatment on the scale of Abu Ghraib. Some prisoners said they had been beaten by guards; some officials reported interrogations they considered abusive. But as the file of complaints grew, Diaz said, officials continued to maintain publicly that only a handful had been confirmed. “There was a lot of stuff in the past that should have been disclosed but was not,” he said […] As the end of his tour approached, Diaz’s frustration was growing. The prisoner-abuse files that he and others had compiled now filled two large binders. One statement, from a senior F.B.I. official, suggested that the military authorities had ignored complaints from bureau agents about harsh interrogation techniques. Another recounted a detainee’s claim that a guard had thrown him to the ground and rubbed his face violently in the dirt after the prisoner spat at him. Diaz found the report credible — the file included a photograph of the prisoner’s mangled face — and was surprised that it was not included among the allegations that the military made public […] Diaz’s own inability to make a difference grated on him. Pentagon investigators who were preparing a report on Guantánamo abuses seemed to ignore some of the cases he helped assemble, he said. Despite the first visits to prisoners by civilian lawyers, little information about their treatment seemed to be getting out.


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