Dear Representative Burton,
Thank you for your letter expressing your and your colleagues concern regarding the pending Courts-martial of Petty Officers Huertas, McCabe, and Keefe. I understand your interest in these cases and can assure you that I am committed to protecting the rights of the Sailors who have been accused.
Regrettably it appears that your perception of the incident is based upon incomplete and factually inaccurate press coverage. Despite what has been reported, these allegations are not founded solely on the word of the detainee, but rather, were initially raised by other U.S. service members. Additionally, the alleged injuries did not occur during actions on the objective, as is also being widely reported in the media. A medical examination conducted at the time the detainee was turned over to U.S. forces determined that his alleged injuries were inflicted several hours after the operation had ended, and while in the custody and care of the U.S. at Camp Schweidler’s detainee holding facility.