WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney says he’s offended by a human rights group’s report criticizing conditions at the prison camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.
The report Amnesty International released last week said prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba had been mistreated and called for the prison to be shut down. Cheney derided the London-based group in an interview set to be broadcast Monday night on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
“Frankly, I was offended by it,” Cheney said in the videotaped interview. “For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”
Cheney is the latest Bush administration official to object to the report. On Sunday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers called the Amnesty International report “absolutely irresponsible.”
Washington’s defense of its detention and interrogation practices comes after weeks of international criticism and violent protests by Muslims outraged at reports — which the Pentagon says are false — that an interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed pages of the Quran down a toilet.
Cheney said detainees at Guantanamo “have been well treated, treated humanely and decently.”
“Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment,” Cheney said. “But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.”
Some of the scores of prisoners who have been released from Guantanamo have said they were mistreated, while others have said they were not. Other allegations have surfaced in FBI reports and transcripts of review hearings the military held for the prisoners.
Pentagon officials say they have substantiated five cases where copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, were mistreated, although the military has refused to offer details other than to say none was ever flushed down a toilet.
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