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PBS: Guantanamo Gen. balked at torture

United Press International | October 19 2005

Brig. Gen. Rick Baccus was removed as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, commander in 2002 for refusing to use tougher interrogation tactics, a PBS documentary suggests.

The Frontline program, "The Torture Question," traces how the Bush administration developed aggressive interrogation policies following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks -- policies that allowed detainees to be stripped and humiliated, The Providence (R.I.) Journal reported.

The PBS program suggests Baccus was reassigned in October 2002 because military higher-ups believed he stood in the way of tougher interrogation tactics.

Retired U.S. Army Gens. Paul Kern and Jack Keane said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was upset about the lack of information from Guantanamo prisoners.

Baccus, 53, of Bristol, R.I., would not criticize President Bush's policies, but he said command failures led to prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo after he departed as well as the Abu Ghraib prison torture case in Iraq.

"Those people (commanders) are the ones who need to be publicly charged. I don't know how high it needs to go," Baccus told the newspaper.

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