War Crimes

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

The Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene is looking better and better:

A CIA analyst warned the Bush administration in 2002 that up to a third of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have been imprisoned by mistake, but White House officials ignored the finding and insisted that all were “enemy combatants” subject to indefinite incarceration, according to a new book critical of the administration’s terrorism policies.

The CIA assessment directly challenged the administration’s claim that the detainees were all hardened terrorists — the “worst of the worst,” as then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said at the time. But a top aide to Vice President Cheney shrugged off the report and squashed proposals for a quick review of the detainees’ cases, author Jane Mayer writes in “The Dark Side,” scheduled for release next week.

“There will be no review,” the book quotes Cheney staff director David Addington as saying. “The president has determined that they are ALL enemy combatants. We are not going to revisit it.”

This is why the Bush administration’s “just trust us, they’re guilty” approach to Gitmo isn’t acceptable. We now know that a huge percentage of Guantanamo detainees were innocent. And in the first case in which a detainee did manage to get a federal court to weigh the government’s evidence against him, the Bush administration was smacked down in a ruling that bordered on ridicule.

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10 Responses to “War Crimes”

  1. #1 |  Michael Pack | 

    The Bush admin. is just following in the tradition on Wilson and FDR.I always thought they should be treated as POWs.In all honesty this is not nearly as bad as the internment of the Japanese-Americans in WW II.That was supported by SCOTUS and the American people.

  2. #2 |  William Millan | 

    There is no “guilty” or “innocent” to these people. They were captured on the battlefield fighting us. As illegal combatants , they are entitled to a tribunal and a firing squad. Next you will want our troops to stop fighting and Mirandize them.

    This type of approach will force us to “black flag” the battlefield and kill all combatants, or at the least turn any captured over to the tender mercies of the locals.

  3. #3 |  Radley Balko | 

    Not really. Many were turned over to U.S. troops by the Northern Alliance, militia groups, and who knows who else in exchange for bounties. We simply took the word of the people collecting the bounties.

  4. #4 |  Edintally | 

    William you are a much greater danger to America than any Muslim extremist.

  5. #5 |  Steven Taylor | 

    They were captured on the battlefield fighting us.

    As Radley notes, this is not the case. There are clear cases of people being arrested and sent to Guantanamo because they were accused by a neighbor or acquaintance. That is far too East Germany for me, thanks very much. The problem is that too many people seem to think that everyone in our custody either was caught in combat or in the act of some clearly terroristic activity–and yet this is clearly not the case. I note a couple of examples of this here (and it is not a comprehensive list, btw, just some examples).

    These are not all the “worst of worst” and many are innocent and yet have been subjected to Hell in the name of our national security. It is a total disgrace.

  6. #6 |  buxxee | 

    There but for the grace of God. Imagine this admnistration with the collusion of the telecoms collecting some intemperate remarks about the administration from one of your own emails. What if they used this information to declare you an unlawful combatant or supporter of terrorism? What if you were jailed without charge, denied access to counsel, held incommunicado, unable to face your accuser, denied access to evidence against you, denied your right to fair and speedy trial? What if they tortured you? What if you were held at a black site and the government denied you were in custody? What if the government continued to hold you for five years or more without charge or trial in defiance of the Supreme Court? What if some how you managed to gain your release, but the government and the telecoms were immune from criminal prosecution on national security grounds, and you were denied civil redress? Would you still be living in a democracy?

  7. #7 |  CitizenX | 


    “illegal combatant” is a term made up by the criminal enterprise in the white house to specifically deny rights to people guaranteed to them by the Constitution, Treaty and International Law.

    There is no legal term illegal combatant so to use it to justify criminal behavior just does not work in any sane world.

  8. #8 |  tjbbpgob | 

    The thing is why not just shoot the bastards, after all they are guerillas and not entitled to any “rights”, hell the gov. said so after all.

  9. #9 |  richard jenkins | 

    who brought down the towers?

    the crux of it all…

    all else is crap!!

  10. #10 |  Julian | 

    #9: A Bunch of rich, pampered Saudis, thats who. If you’re hoping to justify the kidnapping and deportation of Afghans to prison half the world away by referencing the criminal acts of somebody, at least try to make it someone from their own country, who speaks the same language, follows the same religious rites, and shares the same personal history. Afghans are about as close to being Saudis as Brazilians are to being Swiss. And you want to know what’s really hilarious? The FBI under Clinton was watching them, listening to them, building a case against them UNTIL Bush got elected and called them off because he and Rice felt that terrorism was a “dangerous preoccupation” and we should be focusing on Russia and China instead. Don’t believe me? Look up their statements from the 2000 campaign trail.