U.S. May Not Release Guantanamo Prisoners: Even If Found Innocent of Charges Against Them

Global Research, April 12, 2008
Even if a Guantanamo prisoner is acquitted on all counts at his trial, the Pentagon may still not release him on grounds he might return to the battlefield, according to an article in the April 14th issue of The New Yorker.

The magazine’s Jeffrey Toobin quotes Brig. General Thomas Hartmann, legal adviser to the Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions, as saying, “What’s unusual about what we’re doing is that we’re having the commissions before the end of the war. The Nuremberg trials (of accused Nazi war criminals) were after World War Two, so there was no possibility of the defendants going back to the battlefield.”

But, Hartmann continued, “We still have that problem. We are trying these alleged war criminals during the war. So, in order to protect our troops in the field, in general we are not going to release anyone who poses a danger until the war is over.”

By this reasoning, Toobin writes, “even those Guantanamo detainees who are acquitted of the charges against them are analogous to Nazi war criminals.”

Curiously, hundreds of Guantanamo prisoners — once depicted by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “the worst of a very bad lot” — have already been released. This raises the suspicion they were innocent victims of dragnet arrests or sold to the U.S. by Afghan bounty hunters to enlarge the picture of thousands of Islamist terrorists seething to attack America. As historian James Carroll put it in “House of War”(Houghton Mifflin), the jails of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are “emblems of a new system of legally dubious incarceration that involved more than eleven thousand detainees held in mostly secret (black site) locations around the world…”

Continued . . .

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