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VIDEO: Marine Sergeant Reports Detainee Abuse At Guantanamo Bay

By ThinkProgress on October 13, 2006 at 10:57 am

"VIDEO: Marine Sergeant Reports Detainee Abuse At Guantanamo Bay"

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President Bush has consistently touted the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay as a “model prison,” saying the American people should “take great pride” in the facility.

But a sworn statement by Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny paints an entirely different picture. Cerveny has described how “she met several Navy prison guards at a club on the base where, over drinks, they described harsh physical abuse” of Gitmo detainees. The guards alledgedly told Cerveny of practices including “hitting the detainee’s head into the cell door” and “punching [them] in the face.” The Pentagon Inspector General today announced a new investigation into the claims.

Cerveny gave her first public comments on her charges last night to ABC News. Watch an excerpt:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/10/rossgitmo.320.240.flv]

You can read Cerveny’s affidavit to the Pentagon Inspector General here.

Full transcript below:

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Twenty-three-year-old Marine Sergeant Heather Cerveny was sent to Guantanamo Bay in late September as a legal aid to a marine lawyer representing a detainee. She has come back, now, with a story of what she says is unchecked abuse by guards there.

SERGEANT HEATHER CERVENY (UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS)

None of them looked like they cared. None of them looked shocked by it.

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) In a sworn affidavit filed with the Pentagon inspector general, Cerveny says, she met several navy prison guards at an on base club, where over drinks, they described, in detail, harsh, physical abuse of the detainees.

SERGEANT HEATHER CERVENY (UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS)

The one sailor specifically said, ‘I took the detainee by the head and smashed his head into the cell door.” Other ones specifically saying, ‘you know, today, that guy was annoying me. You know? I smacked him in the head.”

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) The sergeant says the guards told her they worked at camps five and six. And that such beatings of detainees were common and justified.

SERGEANT HEATHER CERVENY (UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS)

I initially asked him, what consequences – you know, what happened for you doing this to him? And he said nothing.

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