Ron DeSantis Absolutely Thrashes Reporter for Pushing Conspiracy Theory About His Military Service

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Ron DeSantis finally got asked about a conspiracy theory that’s been floating around for a while regarding his time in the military, and it did not go well for the reporter involved.


In November of 2022, I covered a claim put out by an obscure “news” site that accused DeSantis of running a torture regime at Guantanamo Bay. This would have occurred in the midst of George W. Bush’s second term while the now-Governor of Florida was an officer in the Navy.

(See: Ron DeSantis Is Now Being Accused of Torture)

For background, here’s some of what was alleged.

Apparently, at least according to this former prisoner, DeSantis signed off on him being forcibly fed “Ensure” while he was on a hunger-strike. Yes, you read that right. The rockstar governor’s grave sin, if it’s even true, was saving a man’s life who was trying to commit suicide. That’s apparently what passes for “torture,” these days. Another accusation supposed that DeSantis laughed while the feedings took place.

There were other problems with the story as well, which I covered in my original piece but deserve to be reiterated. Namely, how would the terrorist in question even know who the governor was? That wasn’t lost on DeSantis as he battled the reporter on Thursday in Israel. Here’s how the exchange played out.


DESANTIS: No, no, all that’s totally, totally BS.

REPORTER: (Unintelligible)

DESANTIS: Who said that? How would they know me? Okay, think about that. Do you honestly believe that’s credible? So it’s 2006, and I’m a junior officer. Do you honestly think they would remember me from Adam? Of course, not. They’re just trying to get into the news because they know people like you will consume it because it fits your preordained narrative that you’re trying to spin. Focus on the facts, and stop worrying about narratives.

When I first covered the terrorist’s claims back in November, the identification part of this was one of the things that stuck out to me. How would he have even known who DeSantis was at the time? The governor was a junior officer in 2006, and those interacting with prisoners at Guantanamo Bay weren’t wearing nametags. It is improbable that DeSantis would not only be administering a torture regime but that he would be so involved in it that inmates would somehow remember his face nearly two decades.

I’m not even sure DeSantis was ever at Guantanamo Bay (and he wouldn’t be allowed to confirm that anyway), but if he was, I’m pretty certain junior officers weren’t prancing around the general population force-feeding inmates Ensure. If DeSantis had been behind such a scheme, and I’m just entertaining the thought for my own amusement at this point, do you think it would have played out as described?


Regardless, the strongest counter remains the identification issue. For a variety of reasons, it just makes no sense that a terrorist would be intimately familiar with DeSantis going back to 2006. Besides, the lack of credible sourcing is enough to dismiss the story, which makes the reporter’s parroting of it in a press conference so dumb.

I think DeSantis handled his business well. As I shared in another piece regarding Elon Musk’s epic takedown of a BBC reporter, the way you handle these ridiculously biased reporters is to not accept their false framing. If a reporter makes an assertion, come back with a question of your own and force them to show their work. Ask them what their source is and to specifically back up what they are saying. The odds are that they were too lazy to do anything but read a headline and regurgitate it.


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