The Vice documentary 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 dad or mum firm Paramount on account of concern 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 concerning 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 instructed the outlet.
The half-hour movie had already been vetted for content material by Vice and cable community Showtime when Vice 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 clarification and suggesting executives had delayed it out of concern DeSantis would retaliate. The candidate apparently already held a grudge in opposition to Paramount, which was coping with falling streaming rankings at the same time as Vice was declaring chapter, and his full frontal assault on Disney might have forged a protracted shadow.
Vice’s exposé included interviews with a former detainee who claimed DeSantis was “current at force-feedings that have been condemned as torture by the UN” in the course of the 12 months he served as a authorized adviser to the US Navy at Guantanamo. The person mentioned 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 12 months.
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 “form of the principles for that” when requested for assist relating to the rising protest in opposition to the US coverage of holding detainees for years with out fees. 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 position the accountability for decision-making on his superiors.
The documentary additionally mentions DeSantis’ alleged function in protecting up the killing of three leaders of the starvation strike. Former jail guard Joe Hickman instructed Vice that the lads have been killed by US officers and never in a suicide pact as Washington had formally claimed, however that DeSantis wouldn’t have had authority to log out on the coverup, contradicting DeSantis’ former commanding officer, who declined to be interviewed.
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