Monday, December 18, 2006

More Detainees Released

Over the weekend, the Department of Defense announced that 18 Guantánamo detainees of various nationalities had been released. One of the detainees was apparently a Libyan - unfortunately not our friend, Mr. Al-Ghizzawi.

Of course, just last week the New York Times quoted a Navy official saying “They’re all terrorists; they’re all enemy combatants.” This is the routine at GTMO; the government insists that Guantánamo holds the “worst of the worst” and yet it continues to release a fitful trickle of detainees. While it’s good news that innocent men are being freed, their long-delayed release raises questions as to why they were held without trial or charge for so many years in the first place.

The U.S. attempts to save face by insisting that “freedom doesn’t equate to innocence” and that all detainees were part of “Taliban, al-Qaida, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” But as attorney Joshua Colangelo-Bryan told the AP “it would simply be incredible to suggest that the United States has voluntarily released such 'vicious killers' or that such men had been miraculously reformed at Guantánamo."

- Adrian Bleifuss Prados