The New York Times reports that the Center for Constitutional Rights and Amnesty International (two vocal critics of Guantanamo Bay) have blasted the report. The organizations played a large role in condemning Bush's policies at the detention facility, and the Center for Constitutional Rights represents several detainees.
Here's a clip from the article:
The Pentagon official who inspected the Guantánamo Bay prison at the behest of President Obama and declared its conditions humane described himself Monday as a “fresh set of eyes” who had been given free rein to go about his work.The article reports that the Pentagon prepared the study by conducting "random visits and interviews with detainees, guards, interrogators and commanders." Also, the author, Admiral Patrick Walsh, "is the vice chief of naval operations, and the prison is on a naval base at the southeastern tip of Cuba." These factors undermine the credibility of the study. The article reports that human rights attorneys have released their own study based on interviews with their clients; the human rights report makes dramatically different findings than the Pentagon study.
But detainees’ lawyers and human rights groups ridiculed the 85-page report that the official, Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, sent to the White House this weekend. They called it a public relations gesture by the new administration to try to quiet criticism of the prison while officials work to close it within a year.
“There is no basis to believe, other than his say-so, that this was an independent report,” said Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Coming in the early days of the Obama administration, the exchange was notable for its similarity to the back-and-forth during the Bush years over what the Guantánamo prison is really like.
I wonder how "liberal" bloggers who have accused progressive critics of Obama's terrorism-related policies of being anti-liberal will react (if at all) to the latest news.