US takes abuse at Gitmo allegations seriously: DoD spokesperson

Published: May 7, 2012

Attorney for 9/11 accused Bin Attash tells judge that scars on her client's arm caused by guards at Guantanamo. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: A spokesperson for the US Department of Defense said on Sunday that they take allegations about detainee abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility very seriously and that all such allegations are fully investigated.

On Sunday, Cheryl Bormann, attorney for 9/11 accused and detainee Walid bin Attash, told reporters at Guantanamo Bay that she had a reason to believe that Bin Attash had been mistreated in the camp.

At the arraignment hearing for the 9/11 accused on Saturday, Bormann told the judge that the scars on her client’s arm had been caused by guards at Guantanamo.

US Army Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale said, “Intimation that this group of service members – each of whom are very highly trained and under strict, continuous scrutiny – abused or otherwise purposely mishandled the detainees in their charge simply does not withstand intellectual rigor.”

Bormann did not elaborate at the press conference as to what time period she believed the mistreatment may have taken place. At the arraignment hearing on Saturday, when Bormann made the allegation, Bin Attash attempted to take off his shirt to display his chest, but put it back on after the judge told him to do so.

During the administration of former president George Bush, detainees at Guantanamo Bay were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment. At CIA black sites aka secret prisons, certain high value detainees such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammad were also subjected to waterboarding.

Bin Attash, along with four others, were formally arraigned on Saturday. They stand accused of helping plot and execute the attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.

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