A Navy nurse who refused to force feed hunger-striking Guantanamo detainees over the summer, once threatened with court-martial, could now lose his career.
The nurse, a Navy lieutenant who has never been publicly identified, refused to force feed hunger strikers shortly before July 4 at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay prison complex. The decision reportedly followed months of him carrying out the painful procedure.
A Navy commander on Monday said he asked the board to determine whether the nurse should be allowed to stay in the US Navy.
It has been noted that a Board Inquiry, or administrative review, can keep details of the incident secret. A military trial, however, would have brought up questions about the military’s hunger strike policy and a debate about the medical ethics over force feeding.
If the nurse is fired, any pension benefits will be forfeited.
“It’s kind of out of my hands now; ultimately the Secretary of the Navy will have the final say on this,” Pennington said. “The review, which could last about nine months, entitles the nurse to get an attorney and call witnesses to a closed hearing to argue why he should be allowed to remain in the service.”