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Did Gitmo guard admit to abuse?

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The allegations were explosive: Two guards at Guantanamo had bragged about abusing detainees and described the mistreatment as routine. The Pentagon quickly ordered an investigation, which cleared the men after they denied making the statements.

Last year's investigation seemed to end the controversy, but a copy of the investigator's report obtained by The Associated Press shows that one of the guards had previously told military officials he abused detainees, while the other had attacked a man posing as a detainee in a training exercise before being deployed to Cuba.

Guantanamo critics say both findings are further evidence the probe was a sham.

Ben Wizner, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, said the military's narrow investigation into alleged wrongdoing by its own personnel underscores the need for a "top to bottom" independent review of Guantanamo Bay's military prison.

"As a country, we need to have a formal reckoning with the crimes that occurred at Guantanamo," said Wizner, who has visited Guantanamo Bay's prison. President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to close it.

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, whose complaint with the Pentagon Inspector General initiated the investigation, said the report shows the military ignored statements that undermined the sailors' denials.

Army Col. William Costello, spokesman for the Miami-based Southern Command, refused to comment, saying it would be inappropriate to say anything more than "what we announced publicly almost two years ago."

That Feb. 7, 2007, announcement said there was insufficient evidence to substantiate that guards had bragged about beating up detainees.

The military's investigation was launched after Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny told Vokey, her boss, that she had heard guards at a club at Guantanamo discussing beating detainees and laughing about it on Sept. 23, 2006. After learning about the incident from Vokey, the Pentagon Inspector General's office ordered the military's U.S. Southern Command to investigate.