US military confirms authenticity of Standard Operating Procedures for Guantanamo Bay

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In an exclusive report, the United States military has confirmed to Wikinews, in an e-mail, the authenticity of the 2004 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Camp Delta at the U.S. Naval base in Guantánamo Bay, which was leaked by Wikileaks on December 3, and first reported on by Wikinews.

"The document appears to be a valid 2004 Camp Delta SOP," said Rick Haupt, Commander, United States Navy Director of Public Affairs, Joint Task Force (JTF), Guantanamo Bay.

"While the document is 'Unclassified,' it is designated 'For Official Use Only' and for many reasons (to include the safety and security of U.S. service members) was not intended for mass distribution," added Haupt.

The recent leak of the 2004 SOP states that some detainees may be punished for violating the rules of the camp. Despite recent claims of torture and extreme interrogation measures, Haupt states that all detainees are treated humanely and that most are providing information on terrorist activities.

"JTF Guantanamo policy is clear - we treat all detainees humanely. The JTF operates safe, humane and professional detention operations for unlawful enemy combatants. These enemy combatants are dangerous men and are providing valuable information in preventing further terrorist attacks around the world," said Haupt.

Haupt also goes on to say that the manual changes when warranted, and that the changes in the SOP from 2003 are significant.

"It is important to understand that SOPs by definition, undergo periodic review and change as situations warrant. Detention operations at JTF-Guantanamo have evolved significantly since 2004, prompting many SOP changes. Additionally, there have been three changes in Command leadership since 2004; Maj. Gen. Hood, Rear Adm. Harris, and Rear Adm. Buzby," said Haupt.

Haupt declined to discuss the content or the changes of the SOP to Wikinews for reasons of security.

"As a general rule, for reasons of personnel safety and operational security, the U.S. military will not publicly discuss the specific contents of SOP's," added Haupt.


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