Guantanamo Bay Investigator Fails To Interview Alleged Victims, Files His Report

| Thu Feb. 8, 2007 7:31 PM EST

Col. Richard Bassett, the Army officers assigned to investigate possible abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, has concluded that there is no evidence that guards mistreated the prisoners. In the course of his investigation, Bassett failed to interview any of the alleged victims.

The investigation was created when prison guards allegedly bragged about having beaten some detainees. Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny reported, in fact, that the guards bragged to her at a bar that beating detainees was a common practice at Guantanamo.

Bassett's investigation team conducted twenty interviews with suspects and witnesses, and then Bassett came to his conclustion. According to a command spokesman, "He talked to all the parties he felt he needed to get information about the allegations that were made."

The investigation, which began in October, was expanded to include a similar allegation made by a civilian employee, who reported a conversation involving a guard. A "letter of counseling" will be sent to that guard, who is supposed to have concocted a fictitious account of detainee abuse.

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