Tinsel Wing

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tortured until proven innocent

It's nice to see the press doing its job. Josh Marshall reports that the AP has done the legwork to track down as many former detainees at Guantanamo as it could. We always release these guys with the declaration that they were vicious terrorists when we caught them, but they don't pose a danger any longer; and we're turning them over to other countries, usually their country of origin. In most cases we've requested that they be held there in ordinary jails for their (always nameless) crimes.

Of 245 released detainees that AP was able to find, 205 were released by their host countries without ever being charged, or were cleared of charges. A grand total of 14 have actually gone to trial. Eight of those were found not guilty; none have been found guilty.

Meanwhile, back at Gitmo, the brass has announced that they're through with coddling their prisoners. According to today's New York Times, they have dropped the long established programs of extending privileges for good behavior. It is, of course, a pure coincidence that the "no more Mr. Nice Guy" policy is being put into place just after the last, shameful Congress passed the Torture Act, providing that no court will ever be allowed to consider whether prisoners at Gitmo are being or have been mistreated - unless the President chooses to place the prisoner on trial.

You just don't allow the prisoners who you torture to go before a tribunal. The same Torture Act (no, of course they didn't call it that, you goose) provides that the President can just keep them forever without bothering with any tribunals. When he finds it politically useful to have a show trial, he can have a show trial. Otherwise, he can just throw 'em down the hole and forget 'em.

Every one of them, after all, is a guaranteed vicious killer. Just like the broken hundreds that our allies have decided were innocent all along.

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