The rest of the article is at this site. General Lehnert did complain but within the chain of command and nothing ever happened of course. One could hardly expect him to do much more at the time.
Retiring Marine general calls Guantanamo prison bad move
By Jeanette Steele
Since the 1960s, the base has served as a logistics point for the Navy's Atlantic Fleet. It also supports anti-drug operations in the Caribbean.
Joint Task Force 160 was activated in December 2001, and Camp X-Ray was prepared as a temporary location for detainees, who started arriving the next month.
More than 520 prisoners have been released to other countries; about 220 remain.
CAMP PENDLETON — Saying the United States lost the moral high ground, the outgoing Marine general who built and ran the Guantanamo Bay military prison in early 2002 said he quickly concluded that it was the wrong path and that the cells he constructed should be emptied.
Retiring Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert, now commander of seven Marine bases on the West Coast, also said bringing the remaining prisoners to Camp Pendleton — something the White House has discussed — is a bad idea because it could threaten the base's main job of training Marines.
Lehnert will step down next week after heading the Marine Corps Installations West command since 2005. He has guided a massive construction campaign at the bases he oversees from an office at Camp Pendleton.
In early 2002, then-Brig. Gen. Lehnert was commander of Joint Task Force 160, the unit given the job of quickly building prison cells at the U.S. base in Cuba for “enemy combatants” captured in Afghanistan. It was meant to be a short-lived job, and Lehnert left after 100 days.
“I came to the conclusion very soon that this probably wasn't the right way to go,” Lehnert, 58, said during a media round table yesterday. “Probably before I left Guantanamo, I was of the opinion it needed to go away as soon as possible.”
Lehnert said the United States has a moral obligation to treat the prisoners humanely. He added that he wasn't in charge of interrogations, which were handled by a different task force. That delineation of duties caused “creative tension” in the officer ranks, Lehnert said.
Human-rights organizations have criticized the U.S. government for holding people at Guantanamo without trial, sometimes for years, and for not following established standards of treatment for prisoners of war