Military chief: Decoys used at Camp X-Ray

 

crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

The first U.S. military intelligence chief at Guantánamo revealed the use of four to six decoys in a once secret document released last year by the Pentagon.

''We had four to six guys in Camp X-Ray,'' now retired Army Reserves Maj. Gen. Michael Dunlavey told a military investigation, describing his role supervising the earliest interrogations at the crude open-air compound.

''To put a detainee in X-Ray required that we notify'' both the joint chiefs of staff at the Pentagon and the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, he said.

A military spokesman said there was no record of such a program at Southcom, the Pentagon's headquarters that supervises the prison camps in southeast Cuba.

''None of the senior leaders or analysts working Guantánamo issues have any recollection of any such operation,'' said Army Col. Bill Costello at Southcom. "No one even heard of the concept ever being discussed.''

But the revelation was included in a sworn statement signed by Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who interviewed Dunlavey as part of his 2005 investigation of sexual humiliation and detainee abuse at the prison camps in Cuba.

The Pentagon didn't release Schmidt's account of his interview with Dunlavey immediately with his findings, which documented episodes of interrogators misusing working dogs, depriving captives of food, sleep and water and short-shackling detainees in the fetal position to the floor -- all after Dunlavey had left Guantánamo.

Instead, the summary of the Dunlavey interview turned up in a series of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act in 2006 and obtained by The Miami Herald.

It is the first -- and still disputed -- confirmation of the use of decoys at the prison camp made of chain link fences that preceded the more industrial-style Camp Delta, now in use.

Abdul Rahman Khadr, 26, the rebel son of a fundamentalist Muslim Canadian family, has said he was an intelligence plant at the camp. Dunlavey was mobilized as a two-star Army general after the Sept. 11 attacks and oversaw Camp X-Ray interrogation and intelligence operations in its earliest days. He told The Miami Herald that they ''tried placements'' shortly after the camp opened.

''It was extremely dangerous and risky for the volunteers,'' said Dunlavey, a judge in Pennsylvania.

''My recollection is so vague that I believe the program did not fly too well,'' he said.

Read more Guantánamo Special Coverage stories from the Miami Herald

  • Web Extra | A prison camps primer

    The Pentagon has built a series of facilities at Guantánamo Bay since it inaugurated its offshore detention and interrogation center for terrorist suspects in January 2002 by airlifting captives to remote Cuba from Bagram, Afghanistan.

  •  
In this Feb. 2, 2002 file photo, a detainee brought by airlift from Afghanistan is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at Camp X-Ray at the U.S. Navy Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    GUANTANAMO

    ‘Flouting the rules of law and morality’

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Before this onetime coaling station for the U.S. Navy ships in the Caribbean was transformed into a site holding captives in the war on terror that U.S. officials had called the worst of the worst, most Americans were unaware of its existence.

  •  
These men are among those being force-fed at Guantanamo, according to their lawyers who say they got notice from the Justice Department. Top row from left: Yemeni Tariq Ba Awdah, 34, Syrian Jihad Diyab, 41, Yemeni Mohammed Al-Hamiri, in his 30s. Bottom row rom left: Kuwaiti Fayez Kandari, 35, Yemenis Yasin Ismael and Samir Muqbil, both in their 30s. Five of the photos come from the captives' military intelligence risk assessments obtained by McClatchy from Wikileaks. Kandari's photo was taken by the International Red Cross and released by his family.

    Who's still being held at Guantánamo

    Here is a comprehensive list of who is still held at the Guantánamo detention center in Cuba. McClatchy determined who was still there using both sources and court records as well as secret intelligence files obtained by WikiLeaks and passed to McClatchy.

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