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GITMO Guard : "I Felt Ashamed Of What I Did"

February 17, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show John Amato: Rachel grabs a scoop of an interview with Gitmo guard U.S. Army Specialist Brandon Neely,

February 17, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show

John Amato:

Rachel grabs a scoop of an interview with Gitmo guard U.S. Army Specialist Brandon Neely, who detailed incidents of prisoner abuse and felt compelled to speak out:

Maddow: After serving as guard at Guantanamo for the first six months of its existence as a “war on terror” prison camp, Brandon Neely now says that he is ashamed by some of what he did there and he‘s still haunted by some things that he witnessed. Moved by conscience, Mr. Neely has come forward. He came forward first to the University of California at Davis Guantanamo Testimonials Project. He described incidents to them in quite graphic detail.

Neely: And for me, over time, it just really builds up. And every day I think about it and I relive those situations, and it gets the best of me. And the best way for me to deal with this is speak out. And around December, it just—everything just really hit me. And I just knew I had to talk. I knew I needed to speak about Guantanamo.

Here's the full transcript.

UPDATE: You can read Neely's full testimonials among others at UC Davis' Center for the Study of Human Rights in America.

Heather: Rachel's interview with Brandon Neely was also one of the subjects of Keith's Still Bushed segment. His commentary before and on the interview being as noteworthy as the interview itself.

Olbermann: And number one also torture-gate small picture. Army Private Brandon Neely has talked to the Associated Press about his time at a guard at Gitmo. "The stuff I did and the stuff I saw was just wrong" he says. This stuff...beatings of prisoners. Not beating vaguely rationalized by being part of that Jack Bauer crap enhanced interrogations. Go and beat a prisoner up and never say a word to him. Revenge. Revenge because this began in 2002 and soldiers like Brandon Neely were told these were some of the people responsible for 9-11. So when a shackled detainee came off the bus and started to resist being jammed into a small cage, Neely says he grabbed him and shoved him face first into the cement floor and was only vaguely aware that he was doing this to a trembling old man.

Neely only later found out the old man had started to resist him because he assumed he was about to be executed. Neely now in law enforcement in Texas says he feels guilt and shame over what he did to the point that his upbringing in a military family and the nondisclosure agreement he signed as he left Gitmo don't matter to him. Speaking out he says now is a good way to deal with this. And that is as true for us as a nation as it is for Brandon Neely as an individual. He will do his first television interview in about twenty minutes from now on Rachel's show. I think we had all better watch.

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