Ron DeSantis defends ‘interventions’ at ‘professionally-run’ Guantanamo Bay
Image via Ron DeSantis campaign.

Ron DeSantis Iowa via campaign
'This happens in prisons all the time.'

During an interview Tuesday, Ron DeSantis offered a strong defense of a murky period in his professional resume.

The Florida Governor defended his actions during the Global War on Terror, specifically honing in on “interventions” to stop hunger strikes from suspected Al Qaeda captives, and describing Guantanamo Bay as a “professionally-run” operation.

Asked about the actions being “torture” by an Iowa interlocutor, the Governor pushed back against the characterization.

“This happens in prisons all the time where people do this and there’s intervention. Yes, there’s been interventions that are done with court approval to keep people alive. So I think that’s just something that a lot of the liberal corporate media has tried to spin up to doing that,” DeSantis said on WOWT.

DeSantis was an officer and Navy lawyer at Gitmo in 2006, when prisoners committed to a mass hunger strike. Guards there ultimately restrained and force-fed many of them using nasal tubes — a practice the United Nations Human Rights Commission deemed a form of torture.

Numerous former detainees have since claimed they interacted with DeSantis during that time, and many news outlets, including The Washington Post, reported DeSantis backed the forced feedings.

The Governor rejects those characterizations and spoke further Tuesday about the essential humanity of the treatment of convicts at the U.S. military base on the island of Cuba.

“I can tell you this just as a young naval officer. When I went down to Guantanamo Bay, I had an image of what was going on down there based on what the media was. We actually got down there. It was a very professionally run operation. They were following all the available rules and as somebody that had served as served in Iraq as well, I can tell you if you had a choice to be in Gitmo or in like the Fallujah local jail, Gitmo was much, much more humane.”

DeSantis has offered varying narratives of his actions during that part of his career.

Asked about his time at Gitmo when on an international tour this year, DeSantis forcefully denied claims from an Israeli reporter that he “attended the force-feeding” of Al Qaeda captives while on site as a legal advisor.

“No, no, all that’s BS. Totally. Totally BS,” DeSantis said. “Who said that?”

The London Independent reported in March that a former prisoner, Mansoor Adayfi, claimed DeSantis “observed his brutal force-feeding by guards during a hunger strike in 2006.”

“Do you honestly believe that’s credible? So this is 2006, I’m a junior officer. Do you honestly think that they would have remembered me from Adam? Of course not. They’re just trying to get into the news, because they know people like you will consume it, because it fits the pre-ordained narrative that you’re trying to spin.”

“So, I was a junior officer. I didn’t have the authority to authorize anything,” he told Piers Morgan in 2023. “There may have been a commander that would have done feeding if someone was going to die, but that wasn’t something that I would even have had authority to do.”

But DeSantis painted a somewhat different picture of his role in deciding to tube-feed detainees while talking to CBS News Miami investigative reporter Jim DeFede in August 2018, when the Governor was still serving in Congress.

Prompted by DeFede to describe the work he did at Guantánamo, DeSantis said he was a “legal adviser” who helped those running the facility navigate tough choices in dealing with detainees for whom “the jihad was still ongoing.”

Unprompted, the Governor brought up force-feeding, which he said was something a legal adviser there would recommend.

“They would wage jihad any way they can,” he said. “They would do hunger strikes, and you actually had three detainees that committed suicide with hunger strikes.

“So, everything at that time was legal in nature one way or another, so the commander wants to know, ‘Well, how do I combat this?’ So, one of the jobs of the legal adviser (was) to be like, ‘Hey, you actually can force-feed. Here’s what you can do. Here’s kind of the rules of that.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • MH/Duuuval

    January 2, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    Dee’s time and work in Fallujah remains unclear. Was he involved in calculating “acceptable” levels of collateral damage for for bombing or targets for drone strikes on individuals or groups?

    No doubt the US prison at Gitmo was safer for inmates than a prison in Fallujah — this is a non sequitur.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Expert on Everything" American

    January 3, 2024 at 1:42 am

    Good evening Sage Fans of Earl,
    For the Dook 4 Brains leftist media to have dug this old news of Ron’s service to his Country “As Ordered By His Superiors in The Military” up and try to make something of it shows they suspect Trump was on the lolita express to pleasure island and there is great fear and gnashing of teeth on the left at the thought of not being to run against Trump and roll Trump again.
    Their fears are that now they will get Landslided by DeSantis rather than another easy roll over of Trump.
    Because Sage American Patriots will abandon Trump for scrumping little girls and little boys on pleasure island with Clinton. Then logically we are left with a 100% DeSantis Landslide. And its too late for the Dook 4 Brains leftist media to come riding in and save the day as in this “Lame @55” attempt at re-digging up old history and casting blaim on Ron in his duty in the noble service of his Great Country.
    So all American Patriots are now free to relax their “Political Sphincters” secure in the above explanation of “What Is To Be” made by Earl as a Public Service to my fans.
    Thank you for enjoying yet another installment of ongoing Sage Wisdom from Earl,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Dont Say FLA

      January 3, 2024 at 12:29 pm

      Dammit pops you was right about my drankin. I got all liquored up and went to bed and missed the big name drop. You was right. You was right. I’ll drink less next Tuesday I promise for real this time. By the way can you loan me $50 for gasoline?

      • Earl Pitts "Sage Expert on Everything" American

        January 3, 2024 at 2:38 pm

        We’re rich beloved Son/Daughter a lot of my wild investments came in and we can just replace the entire vehicle.
        Lets keep our drinking in check until your new ride has the “new” wear off it in 6 to 8 months.
        Love ya Dad

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 3, 2024 at 4:33 am

    BS! The accounts of the Fing gitmo prisoners by and with Desantis support were disgustingly as bad as Hamas! Yes prison is prison. But DeSantis abused his power to commit war crimes against humanity! Why? Cause Desantis could and will do it again.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Expert on Everything" American

      January 3, 2024 at 8:11 am

      Unfourtanty for the “Rabid Left” Dear Sonja, your postings above are “Pure “D” Leftist Psyco-Bable” which has totally gone out of style & favor in our Great Nation.
      Pay heed, other lefty’s, to “The Sage Wisdom of Earl” so you, like our “Dear Sonja” dont find yourself being gently and loveingly publically corrected by Me, Earl Pitts American.
      Thank you America and remember Earl loves and cares about you and our Dear Sonja.
      Earl Pitts American

    • MH/Duuuval

      January 3, 2024 at 11:54 am

      Let’s just say Dee was schooled in autocracy while in Gitmo and Fallujah — and became accustomed to those he dominated having little recourse.

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 3, 2024 at 12:13 pm

    Al Qaedas starving themselves on a hunger strike? Save their lives!

    Floridians dying by the tens of thousands because of G0P lies about vax? Keep on lying!

    Great choices, Rhonda. Grrrrrrreat choices.

Comments are closed.


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