Navy medical team arrives at Guantanamo Bay to investigate claims of cancer, illnesses
August 6, 2015
A U.S. Navy team is on the ground at Guantanamo Bay, examining environmental and medical records after at least seven people have fallen seriously ill or died after their service there.
An industrial hygiene team from the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center arrived Tuesday. The team will begin an extensive review of the records for the base, and particularly for Camp Justice, the compound of living quarters and legal buildings used to conduct military commissions of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
Since Camp Justice was constructed in 2008 on an inactive airstrip at McCalla Airfield, some military lawyers and support staff assigned to the detainee cases have reported cancers, unexplained lesions and growths, and problems with their lymph nodes. Wells Dixon, a lawyer who has worked on detainee cases there since 2005, said the number of people who have fallen ill after living and working at Camp Justice could be as high as 20.
The July 17 death of a military lawyer assigned there, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, 44, prompted an official complaint with the inspector general, which led to the Navy’s investigation.
The team on the ground is “conducting a comprehensive occupational and environmental health survey, a historical records review of all available environmental data and a medical records check,” said Guantanamo Bay spokeswoman Kelly Wirfel.