Worst of the worst

Guardian: Guantánamo suicide prisoner ‘not told release was due’

One of the three detainees who committed suicide at Guantánamo Bay was due to be released but had not been told, the man’s lawyer said today.

Mark Denbeaux, an American law professor who represents some of the foreign prisoners at the US-run jail for terrorism suspects in Cuba, told the BBC World Service that Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi al-Utaybi was among 141 prisoners due to be released.

They’re all hardened jihadists in there, though, so don’t shed a tear for them:

Fewer than half were caught on battlefields in Afghanistan or by U.S. troops. A majority were turned over by Pakistan (often for cash bounties). Few “combatants” are even accused of having fought. Many are held simply because they were living in a house associated with the Taliban or working for a charity linked to the group.

It seems that U.S. forces, inundated by thousands of captives after the Afghan war, didn’t have enough experienced interrogators and interpreters to sort out the actual terrorists from Arabs unaffiliated with Al Qaeda. But they were under pressure to get results and unwilling to believe that their Pakistani allies could deceive them. Prisoners who claimed to know nothing were subjected to increasingly brutal treatment until some confessed or accused others.

The people who killed themselves in that prison were just as likely victims of bad luck as terrorists. Whatever a “terrorist” even is, these days.

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4 thoughts on “Worst of the worst

  1. Ananth

    Actually very few prisoners from Gitmo are released. They are sent back to their home countries and jailed their for other crimes they have commited, once it’s been determined that they are of no further value or risk.

    Also, who is being more naive, the US military or Human Rights Watch? Are we supposed to believe that most of these Yemini and Saudis just happen to hit the hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan for their fine resorts locations? This guys weren’t there for anything good. I am sure that a lot of them aren’t high on the food chain, but they aren’t innocents. It’s not bad luck to be caught by the United States if you joined or supported al Qaeda or the Taliban in Afghanistan. It was a bad choice.

  2. Steve

    Actually very few prisoners from Gitmo are released. They are sent back to their home countries and jailed their for other crimes they have commited, once it’s been determined that they are of no further value or risk.

    Because they were all agents of Goldstein anyway, right?

    we supposed to believe that most of these Yemini and Saudis just happen to hit the hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan for their fine resorts locations?

    Orrrrr, because they live there?

    The military isn’t being naive, they’re being immoral.

    What do you have against the presumption of innocence, or human rights? Seriously, do you really think that people from other countries are less human than Americans, and don’t deserve the same rights and considerations?

  3. Ananth

    Not in a war, I don’t presume innocence, no. Warfare has a totally different set of morals than normal civil law enforcement. Yes, in idealogical terms it would be nice, but that just not the case. Example, if the police were to raid a compound in the US (IE waco) where crimes were being committed, and innocents ended up dieing, this is usually considered unacceptable, and people would be held accountable. In warfare, if we blow up a bomb making hideout in Basra, and we happen to kill innocents who were in the building along with the targets, we regret it, but that’s about were it ends.

    But that’s not the point. Do you actually think all these people moved to Pakistan and Afghanistan to live? Are people really moving to some of the most god forsaken places in the world because they thought they could find a good job? Maybe they were looking for wives? This are not a places known for drawing a large number of immigrants in to them. Have you forgotten exactly how barbaric Afghanistan was before 9/11? It’s like you have no concept of the seriousness of what is going on anymore. This is no longer a disagreement about tactics, you seem to think that there are no terrorists, and Al Qaeda and the Jihadists are a figment of the Bush Administrations imagination, or simply citizens with a greivance petioning the government for redress. I suppose that those Candains arrested last week weren’t real either?

    Also what is an agent of Goldstein? I am not as down as I should be with some the left’s euphemisms…

  4. Steve

    It’s like you have no concept of the seriousness of what is going on anymore.

    And yet I’m not the one advocating a stance of “Eh. Let’s assume they’re all mass-murderers up there in the mountains of the ‘Stans. Torture away!”

    Honestly, do you really think your consistent advocation of the taking the easy, violent way out is a position to be treated as “serious?”

    Also what is an agent of Goldstein? I am not as down as I should be with some the left’s euphemisms…

    In this case you would want to be down not with the shibboleths used by the rest of the Comintern and me, but with my homey George Orwell, author of 1984.

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