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Tuesday, Mar 7 2023

ICYMI – Miami Herald: ‘Very intimate knowledge’: What Ron DeSantis saw while serving at Guantanamo

Mar 07, 2023

Today, the Miami Herald published a disturbing and in-depth report on Florida governor and 2024 GOP hopeful Ron DeSantis’ time serving as a JAG officer at Guantanamo Bay.

The Herald notes that DeSantis’ time at Guantanamo Bay “remains largely unexplored” — until now. The report includes accounts from former detainees about their experiences with DeSantis. Notably, these experiences included allegations that DeSantis witnessed torture and was present during force feedings.

Former detainees at Guantanamo Bay who interacted with DeSantis are speaking out. In a recent podcast interview, Mansoor Adayfi, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, accused DeSantis of presiding over torture, using prisoner complaints about conditions as intel while he was a JAG officer. Adayfi was interviewed by the Miami Herald for this report as well. 

Miami Herald: ‘Very intimate knowledge’: What Ron DeSantis saw while serving at Guantanamo

By Michael Wilner | 3/7/2022

Key quotes

  • “DeSantis’ interactions with detainees would have exposed him to complaints about conditions at the detention center, including accusations of torture and abuse, at a time when tensions at the camp were reaching an inflection point.” 

  • “DeSantis witnessed and received complaints about forced feeding sessions, Abdel Aziz said.”

  • “‘He didn’t start as a very bad guy, but the course of events, I think, led him to have no choice,” Abdel Aziz said. ‘Many of the very big leadership, if they want to be harsh, it’s hard from the lower people to take a different turn. He aligned with the bad people in the end.’” 

  • “Mansoor Adayfi, a Yemeni national who was sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 and also held without being charged for 14 years, told McClatchy that he realized after seeing Florida’s governor on the news that DeSantis was present at one point as he was force-fed in Camp Delta. Adayfi said he remembers DeSantis being there alongside Zak Ghuneim, the camp’s longtime cultural adviser, and that he vomited on both of them, an account that Ghuneim denied in a phone interview.”

Read the full story here.

Published: Mar 7, 2023

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