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A fight is brewing between Capitol Hill and the Pentagon over allegations that Chinese government agents were allowed to interrogate some detainees at Guantánamo Bay.
Jay Alan Liotta, principal director of the Defense Department office responsible for detainee policy, told a House subcommittee on Thursday that he would not publicly comment on whether officials from China or any other nation were granted access to foreign citizens held at the detention facility.
He offered to release that information to the committee during a closed, classified session. Lawmakers weren’t happy about his answer. Rep. James P. Moran , D-Va., said he would introduce an amendment to strip funding for Liotta’s office if the Defense Department does not disclose, in open session, whether a Chinese delegation was allowed to question Guántanamo detainees who are members of a Muslim minority in China called the Uighurs.
The former detainees testified that they were forced to provide their photographs and identities to the Chinese agents under the threat of torture and, under those agents’ orders, were denied food and water and isolated in a frigid room.