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Pentagon Investigating Gitmo Abuse? Who Knows

APEarlier today we wrote about the case of Gitmo detainee Mohamed Jawad, who was first detained as a teenager in Afghanistan in late 2002—and whose case seems to be quickly falling apart.

Among the manysetbacks for prosecutors was a military judge’s ruling last month that Jawad had been abused while at Gitmo.

The judge, Col. Stephen Henley, found that this past June Jawad had been "beaten, kicked, and pepper sprayed for not complying with a guard’s instructions." The judge also concluded that Jawad had been subjected to what was known as the "frequent flyer" program. In one two-week period, Jawad—who was a teenager at the time—was moved from cell to cell 112 times.

"The scheme was calculated to profoundly disrupt [Jawad’s] mental senses," wrote Judge Henley.

By the time Jawad was subjected to the frequent flyer treatment, Henley continued, Jawad was of "no intelligence value to any government agency. The infliction of the technique upon [Jawad] thus had no legitimate interrogation purpose."

Henley’s conclusion: "Those responsible should face appropriate disciplinary action, if warranted under the circumstances."

So did the Pentagon investigate? Well, we just heard from Jawad’s lawyer, Major David Frakt, who said he formally requested such an investigation—and has heard nothing but crickets.

Here is Frakt’s e-mail to us:

I filed an official Law of Armed Conflict violation report through the chain of command as soon as I learned of the frequent flier treatment abuse of Mohammad Jawad back in May. Under DoD regulations, such reports are required to be fully investigated. I have requested an update on the status of the investigation with JTF-GTMO and have received no information.

I personally don't believe that they actually have investigated the allegation.

As far as I know, no one has been held accountable for the frequent flyer program, which was carried out on numerous individuals.

The Washington Post reported in August that the frequent flyer program kept on going for "months" after the Pentagon formally banned it in March 2004.According to the Post, military logs show that “frequent cell movements took place on the same days a Navy admiral was visiting Guantanamo to assess possible detainee abuses.”

We called the Pentagon to ask again if any investigations have resulted (from the visiting admiral or anybody else). We’ll let you know if and when we finally hear back.    

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