Sergeant Heather Cerveny is a member of the United States Marine Corps, and a paralegal who submitted an affidavit describing boasts of abusive treatment meted out to detainees held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. Her claims were rejected by a military investigator and she was later accused of making a false statement.
The Department of Defense's Inspector General announced that another inquiry would be launched into detainee treatment, based on Cerveny's affidavit.
Previous inquiries, like the Schmidt report, concluded that abuse at the camps was degrading, but did not rise to the level of "inhumane".
Muneer Ahmad, the civilian lawyer for Omar Khadr, reported that Cerveny, and her boss, Colby Vokey, Khadr's military lawyer, had been ordered not to speak to the media pending Marine chief defense counsel Col. Carol Joyce's review of Cerveny's claims.
The report quotes a statement released by the Marines explaining that Col. Joyce:
Colonel Richard Bassett was the officer assigned to investigate the allegations in Cerveny's affidavit. He returned from his investigation on November 15, 2006.
The Associated Press quoted one of Bassett's superiors, who said Bassett: "...interviewed guards and some detainees during a visit to the naval base in southeast Cuba. He also traveled around the U.S. to speak with guards who had left Guantanamo,"
The report was submitted by Basset on December 10, 2006. and the results made public in February, 2008. The report recommended no disciplinary action against the five Army,and Navy men whom Cerveny accused in her affidavit as he asserted there was insufficient evidence to support Cerveny's claims. Based upon his findings through the investigation, Colonel Bassett then accused Cerveny of filing false reports.
On December 18, 2008 Fox News, MSNBC and other media outlets published an Associated Press story based on previously classified portions of Bassett's inquiry they had acquired through a successful Freedom of Information Act request. had determined one of the men Cerveny had named had been part of the riot squad that had left a GI with brain damage who had been asked to masquerade as a detainee who represented a threat for a training exercise.
The previously classified portions of the inquiry reported that another of the men had acknowledged abusing captives.
According to Fox News Vokey reacted to the new information, saying: "the report shows the military ignored statements that undermined the sailors' denials."
Fox News quotes spokesman Colonel William Costello saying he had nothing to add to "what we announced publicly almost two years ago."
Fox News quoted Ben Wizner, of the American Civil Liberties Union, characterizing the original inquiry as "narrow", and pointed out that the inquiry hadn't reported the men hadn't abused captives, merely that there was "insufficient evidence" that they had bragged about doing so to Cerveny.