Friday, January 12, 2007

Innocent Until Proven. . . . .Oh, Never Mind

From the Center for American Progress:
WHO ARE THE GITMO DETAINEES?: "It's important for Americans and others across the world to understand the kind of people held at Guantanamo," Bush said a few months ago. "These aren't common criminals, or bystanders accidentally swept up on the battlefield - we have in place a rigorous process to ensure those held at Guantanamo Bay belong at Guantanamo." Facts tell a different story. A National Journal investigation found that "seventy-five of the 132 men" examined are "not accused of taking part in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners." Just 57 of the 132 men, or 43 percent, are "accused of being on a battlefield in post-9/11 Afghanistan. The government's documents tie only eight of the 132 men directly to plans for terrorist attacks outside of Afghanistan." Stuart Taylor of the National Journal found "fewer than 20 percent of the Guantanamo detainees, the best available evidence suggests, have ever been Qaeda members. ... Many scores, and perhaps hundreds, of the detainees were not even Taliban foot soldiers, let alone Qaeda terrorists. They were innocent, wrongly seized noncombatants with no intention of joining the Qaeda campaign to murder Americans." The AP found that once Guantanamo detainees were returned to their home country, four-fifths of them "were either freed without being charged or were cleared of charges related to their detention." "Only a tiny fraction of transferred detainees have been put on trial," and all 29 detainees who were repatriated to Britain, Spain, Germany, Russia, Australia, Turkey, Denmark, Bahrain and the Maldives were freed, "some within hours after being sent home for 'continued detention.'"

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