The Fate of Two-Hundred Forty-Five Detainees

Much Ado
By: Jane Hamsher

Via Josh Marshall, we learn that the AP is trying to find out what happens to Guantanamo Bay detainees once they are released. These are, after all, the people who were so very dangerous that we desperately needed to legalize torture, whom the Pentagon referred to as “among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth.”

The AP tracked 245 of them in an investigation including 17 countries where they had been released, and found:

* Once the detainees arrived in other countries, 205 of the 245 were either freed without being charged or were cleared of charges related to their detention at Guantanamo. Forty either stand charged with crimes or continue to be detained.
* Only a tiny fraction of transferred detainees have been put on trial. The AP identified 14 trials, in which eight men were acquitted and six are awaiting verdicts. Two of the cases involving acquittals — one in Kuwait, one in Spain — initially resulted in convictions that were overturned on appeal.
* The Afghan government has freed every one of the more than 83 Afghans sent home. Lawmaker Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, the head of Afghanistan’s reconciliation commission, said many were innocent and wound up at Guantanamo because of tribal or personal rivalries.
* At least 67 of 70 repatriated Pakistanis are free after spending a year in Adiala Jail. A senior Pakistani Interior Ministry official said investigators determined that most had been “sold” for bounties to U.S. forces by Afghan warlords who invented links between the men and al-Qaida. “We consider them innocent,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
* 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.”

So did the government just sweep up a group of swarthy people on shaky evidence and then undermine deeply held core values of the American public abhoring the notion of torture as part of a big exercise in machismo posturing, or did they just release a passel of stone killers into the wild?

Read it here.

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