Showtime axed documentary about DeSantis’ 'brutal' tenure at Guantanamo after he entered 2024 race: report

Showtime axed documentary about DeSantis’ 'brutal' tenure at Guantanamo after he entered 2024 race: report
DES MOINES, IOWA - JULY 14: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks to guests at the Family Leadership Summit on July 14, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. Several Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to speak at the event, billed as “The Midwest’s largest gathering of Christians seeking cultural transformation in the family, Church, government, and more.” (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images).

Editor's note Sept. 24, 2023: The New York Times on Sunday reported it "found no evidence" to back up the claim that Ron DeSantis played a role in force-feeding Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the Times, "An examination of military records and interviews with detainees’ lawyers and service members who served at the same time as Mr. DeSantis found no evidence to back up the claims."

"Instead, nearly all of those interviewed dismissed the story as highly improbable."

Original story continued below.
vThe day after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, production executives at Showtime pulled the plug on a VICE documentary about DeSantis' connection to human rights abuses at the notorious military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On Sunday, The Daily Beast's Roger Sollenberger exclusively obtained and published the transcript of the exposé that the public never got to see.

Hosted by correspondent Seb Walker, The Guantanamo Candidate "features interviews with former prisoners and a former Naval staff sergeant-turned-Gitmo whistleblower who overlapped with DeSantis. All three allege inhumane treatment at the hands of the U.S. government, with the detainees directly implicating DeSantis—at the time, a junior-level military legal adviser—in approving and overseeing brutal measures," Sollenberger explained.

"These former prisoners alleged that DeSantis watched forced-feedings, a cruel and degrading practice that a United Nations investigation into the controversial offshore prison concluded was torture in February 2006. This was the month before DeSantis arrived, per his military records," according to Sollenberger.

READ MORE: 'They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us': Harris torches Florida’s new 'anti-woke' education standards

If Showtime's decision to ax the movie right after DeSantis entered the race for the White House seems fishy, what it would have revealed could have been even more so.

For instance, Sollenberger expounded, "VICE contextualizes its investigation as a counterpoint to DeSantis' inclination to present his military record as a political strength, and draws attention to his evolving narrative about his Gitmo stint. in a scene from Florida's 2018 gubernatorial debate, DeSantis boasted that he wasn’t at home with his family during Christmas of 2006. 'I was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at the Terrorist Detention Facility… not as a detainee, as an officer.'"

The film "then presents a clip from DeSantis' 2022 'Top Gun' campaign ad, where he lectured hypothetical recruits about 'today's training evolution: dog fighting—taking on the corporate media,'" Sollenberger found, adding that "the documentary contrasts DeSantis' account with those of two anonymous ex-prisoners, whom the transcript indicated were not represented in the flesh; their claims were delivered in 'voice notes.'"

Overall, The Guantanamo Candidate paints DeSantis' Guantanamo tenure as "a brutal point in the prison's history."

READ MORE: College overtaken by DeSantis allies faces 'ridiculously high' job openings as faculty flee

Sollenberger's full report continues at this link (subscription required).

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