Cutting through the bullshit.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Ortiga cultivo

Writing under the headline, ‘1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight, Report Finds’, Elizabeth Bumiller acknowledges that

The Pentagon has provided no way of authenticating its 45 unnamed recidivists, and only a few of the 29 people identified by name can be independently verified as having engaged in terrorism since their release. Many of the 29 are simply described as associating with terrorists or training with terrorists, with almost no other details provided.

That was in the eighteenth paragraph. The article begins,

An unreleased Pentagon report concludes that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has returned to terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials. [my emphasis]

And continues,

...the Pentagon believes that 74 prisoners released from Guantánamo have returned to terrorism or militant activity, making for a recidivism rate of nearly 14 percent... report says are again engaged in terrorism...

The assumption is that all of those incarcerated at the US ‘coaling station’ at Guantánamo Bay were involved in terrorism in the first place, otherwise they could not return to it. In reality, none of those released was ever convicted of anything, and not for want of trying – unconstitutional ‘military tribunals’, ‘evidence’ extracted under duress, you name it. If there were any convincing evidence that they had had anything at all to do with terrorist activities, even as broadly defined as the W regime liked, they would still be in Cuba.

Among all the 74 recidivists, it transpires than only two of the 29 ‘independently verified as having engaged in terrorism since their release’ are actually accused of anything in particular.

They are Said Ali al-Shihri, a leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch suspected in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Sana, Yemen’s capital, last year, and Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, an Afghan Taliban commander, who also goes by the name Mullah Abdullah Zakir. [my emphasis]

No doubt a Taliban commander must be some kind of terrorist. But what of al-Shihri, a suspected terrorist effectively acquitted of terrorism, now suspected of further terrorism, and that makes him a recidivist?

If any of these guys really does take up arms against the occupier, it’s less likely that they do so by way of returning to old habits than by way of revenge for their treatment at Guantánamo.

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