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February 04, 2010

About Seton Hall Law

NEW SETON HALL LAW REPORT RAISES FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INVESTIGATION OF THREE DETAINEE DEATHS AT GUANTÁNAMO

‘DoD Contradicts DoD’ Analyzes Defense Department’s Attempts to
Defend Its Own Investigation

Newark, NJ – The Department of Defense has responded to the Seton Hall University School of Law, Center for Policy & Research report, Death in Camp Delta, and Harper’s Magazine’s “The Guantánamo ‘Suicides.’” In its original report, the Center for Policy & Research found dramatic flaws in the government’s investigation of the three simultaneous deaths of detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and raised serious questions about the characterization of the deaths as suicides.   

The Harper’s report is based on the Center’s report and the revelations of four Guantánamo tower guards on duty the night of the deaths. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the revelations show “that the victims may have been transported to another location prior to their ‘discovery,’ and that the events leading to their deaths may have occurred at a ‘black site’— a secret facility used to conduct ‘enhanced’ interrogation.”

The newest Center report, DoD Contradicts DoD, analyzes the Department of Defense’s most recent attempts to defend its own investigation into the detainee deaths. The Center has found the DoD’s defense contradictory to, and inconsistent with, DoD’s prior statements in its Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) report.

Seton Hall Law Professor and Director of the Center for Policy and Research, Mark P. Denbeaux, stated, “Amazingly, some of DoD’s statements purporting to defend the NCIS investigation actually impeach it; others are irrelevant or misdirected.”

Denbeaux further stated, “The inflated number of statements supposedly supporting the NCIS Report are not as important as the statements omitted from the NCIS Report.”

The Center for Policy and Research Report shows that each of the cell block guards on duty that night gave two statements, and the first statement for each is missing. The only statements from the guards in the NCIS reportwere made only after those guards had been threatened with prosecution because of the contents of their previous—and now missing—statements.

Not only are the Alpha Block Guards first statements missing, but the Center for Policy & Research discovered that all of the contemporaneous statements from every person on duty that night are missing.

Professor Denbeaux said: “Everyone on duty that night, in addition the Alpha Block guards, was ordered to write sworn statements as soon as the detainees were declared dead. And every one of those statements is missing.”

Seton Hall Center for Policy & Research Fellow, Sean Camoni, one of the co-authors of the report asked: “You tell me, why do you order all your witnesses to write out sworn statements and then not use them?”

Death in Camp Delta is the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy & Research’s fifteenth Guantánamo Report; DoD Contradicts DoD is its sixteenth.Center reports have been introduced into the Congressional Record by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and as part of a Resolution by the European Parliament. The Guantánamo reports have also been cited by media throughout the world. Death in Camp Delta and all previous reports may be found at http://law.shu.edu and will be included in the Guantánamo Archives, a joint project between Seton Hall Law School and New York University to document, preserve, and make accessible the legal records and the human stories of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp.