The New York Times has reviewed allegations tying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to forced feeding of hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay and found "no evidence to back up the claims" of detainee Mansoor Adayfi.
The Times interviewed 40 people for the report published Sunday and discovered no one who could refute DeSantis' public denials of any forced feeding of detainees.
"That's not true," DeSantis said last March of the allegations leveled against him. "I was a junior officer. I didn't have the authority to authorize anything. There may have been a commander who would have done feeding if someone was going to die, but that is not something I would have even had the authority to do.
"What I saw, because there was a media narrative that they were being mistreated in Gitmo, what I saw was basically a professional run prison."
Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who served the Gitmo chief prosecutor when DeSantis visited the prison, echoed that to the Times.
"He was just too junior and too inexperienced and too green to have had any substantial role," Davis said.
The whole Adayfi narrative of DeSantis even witnessing forced feedings was debunked by retired Navy Capt. Patrick McCarthy.
"Ron DeSantis was never in a position to witness the enteral feeding of detainees, or in the position to participate in an enteral feeding," McCarthy told the Times, one of the few with knowledge of DeSantis' duties to comment on the record. "Nor was he in the position to witness or participate in the mistreatment of any detainees."
Lawyers would not have been present for feedings, according to retired Army Col. Mike Bumgarner to the Times.
"There is no way in the world that could have occurred," he said. "They would have never let a lawyer there."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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