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Archive for Sunday, November 30, 2003

Guantanamo officer charged with security breach

November 30, 2003

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— An Army intelligence officer was charged Saturday with violating security at the U.S. detention camp for terrorist suspects, the fourth person charged with breaches at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Two Arabic translators and a Muslim chaplain face charges ranging from espionage to adultery at the base, where interrogators are questioning some 660 detainees from 44 countries.

Army Col. Jack Farr was charged Saturday with "wrongfully transporting classified material without the proper security container on or around Oct. 11," and lying to investigators, said a statement from the U.S. Southern Command.

Spokesman Lt. Commander Chris Loundermon, speaking from the command's headquarters in Miami, said he did not know if Farr had direct contact with detainees. He declined to describe the classified material.

Farr is a reservist who had been on temporary duty at Guantanamo Bay for six months and left to return to his home state, which Loundermon did not know.

"He was departing when the investigation revealed that he had some security violations," Loundermon said. "He voluntarily came back."

Farr is not under arrest and has not been suspended, Loundermon said. "He didn't present a flight risk, and he was not likely to engage in any further serious misconduct."

Farr's charges have been forwarded to the base commander, who could dismiss them, refer them to a court-martial or direct a pretrial investigation.

Two Army lawyers appointed to represent Farr could not be reached.

Security has been tightened at Guantanamo Bay since the first arrests were announced in September and military investigators arrived.

New measures include firewalls on computer systems, increased bag screening and inspection of workers' electronic equipment before the leave the remote base on Cuba's eastern tip, which can only be reached by aircraft chartered by the military.

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