Secrecy, mistrust and the shadow of interrogation at the American prison limited doctors’ ability to treat mental illness among detainees.
Every day when Lt. Cmdr. Shay Rosecrans crossed into the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, she tucked her medical school class ring into her bra, covered the name on her uniform with tape and hid her necklace under her T-shirt, especially if she was wearing a cross. She tried to block out thoughts of her 4-year-old daughter. Dr. Rosecrans, a Navy psychiatrist, had been warned not to speak about her family or display anything personal, clues that might allow a terrorism suspect to identify her. Patients called her “torture bitch,” spat at her co-workers and shouted death threats, she said. One hurled a cup of urine, feces and other fluids at a psychologist working with her. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was released to his native Mauritania in October after 14 years at Guantánamo, told a doctor on his legal team that military mental health providers did not ask him about possible mistreatment, according to a sealed court report obtained by The Times. Mr. Slahi did not volunteer the information because he was afraid of retaliation, he wrote in his prison memoir, “Guantánamo Diary.”
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