Wikileaks has released information on Guantanamo detainees. And as a lot of us have been saying, many of the people held there were completely innocent.
An assessment of 780 people detained at Gitmo at one time or another shows that 220 really were/are dangerous terrorists. Another 380 were “foot soldiers,” low-level people with ties to various extremist or insurgent groups but who had no access to intelligence.
And at least 150 were completely innocent Aghanis and Pakistanis, some of whom were sold to security forces for a bounty. Juan Cole says, “Wearing a Casio watch could be a cause for arrest, apparently, because al-Qaeda types used them as timers.” And in many cases their documents contain no accusations against them. Yet they were held for months and years and “interrogated” just the same.
In May 2003, for example, Afghan forces captured Prisoner 1051, an Afghan named Sharbat, near the scene of a roadside bomb explosion, the documents show. He denied any involvement, saying he was a shepherd. GuantÃ¡namo debriefers and analysts agreed, citing his consistent story, his knowledge of herding animals and his ignorance of â€œsimple military and political concepts,â€ according to his assessment. Yet a military tribunal declared him an â€œenemy combatantâ€ anyway, and he was not sent home until 2006.
See, righties, this is why some of us have issues with military tribunals. Several other similar stories have come out of the leaks.
The 172 men remaining at Gitmo have been rated ‘high risk,” but then so were a lot of other detainees who were eventually transferred and even released.
At least some of the remaining crew really are hard-core terrorists with ties to the 9/11 perps. But the issue is that, since evidence against them was obtained through torture, they can’t be properly tried. But they really are dangerous, so neither can they be released. No one has any idea what to do with them, except keep them at Gitmo.