The Vice characteristic reportedly detailed then-Navy officer Ron DeSantis’ involvement in prisoner force-feedings
A Vice documentary investigating claims that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis licensed the force-feeding of prisoners whereas stationed as a Navy officer on Guantanamo Bay was shelved by its broadcaster’s father or mother firm Paramount attributable to worry the Republican would topic them to the identical lawfare techniques he has wielded in opposition to their competitor Disney, Semafor revealed on Thursday.
Paramount’s lobbyist in Washington, DC, DeDe Lea, allegedly raised considerations in regards to the political penalties of airing ‘The Guantanamo Candidate’, inflicting the leisure large to mothball the documentary the day after DeSantis introduced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, an insider supply informed the outlet.
The half-hour movie had already been vetted for content material by Vice and cable community Showtime when the previous was knowledgeable, simply 4 days earlier than airtime, that “the broader community groups are taking a deeper inside look” on the documentary, delaying its premiere indefinitely.
One supply at Vice referred to as the choice “blatant company censorship for political acquire,” claiming Showtime by no means gave any rationalization and suggesting executives had delayed it out of worry DeSantis would retaliate. The candidate apparently already held a grudge in opposition to Paramount, which was coping with falling scores at the same time as Vice was declaring chapter, and his full frontal assault on Disney might have forged an extended shadow.
Vice’s exposé included interviews with a former detainee who claimed DeSantis was “current at force-feedings that had been condemned as torture by the UN” throughout the yr he served as a authorized adviser to the US Navy at Guantanamo. The person stated he “seen DeSantis’ good-looking face among the many crowd” of officers watching him battle as he was brutally force-fed by a nurse, “smiling and laughing with different officers as I screamed in ache.” The Florida governor rejected the claims when confronted by Vice’s reporter earlier this yr.
Nonetheless, DeSantis admitted in a 2018 interview to advising a commanding officer that “you’ll be able to really force-feed” hunger-striking detainees, even providing the officer “type of the principles for that.” The UN declared force-feeding to be torture in February 2006, only a month earlier than DeSantis arrived at Guantanamo, and the candidate has since modified his telling of the episode to put the accountability for decision-making on his superiors.
The documentary additionally mentions DeSantis’ alleged position in masking up the killing of three hunger-strike leaders. Former jail guard Joe Hickman informed Vice that the boys had been killed by US officers and had not died in a suicide pact, as Washington had formally claimed. He additionally claimed that DeSantis wouldn’t have had authority to log off on the coverup, contradicting the Florida governor’s former commanding officer, who declined to be interviewed.
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