Thursday, May 8, 2008

Return to the battlefield?? Updated

I am updating this story after reading the Washington Post version. It appears the story may be true and if so we are stuck with the uncomfortable fact that a man released from Guantanamo may be responsible for a suicide bombing in Iraq. There are lots of things to ponder in relation to this matter and much of that was discussed in the article that you can read by clicking on the title. The answer of course is not to lock up forever people who showed no signs of being an enemy when picked up. This man apparently went on with his life for several years before he decided to do what he did. I also will remind you that our government lies so much that we cannot believe anything they claim but if this man did in fact become a suicide bomber he would be the only verifiable detainee that was released who has been shown to engage in any illegal activities after being released. I find that pretty amazing given how these men were treated. Anyway, last time the government/military claimed 30+ were on "back" on the battlefield and my law clerk did the research... seemed at the same time they were saying 9+ and 5+ and a handful and 14.... were back on the battlefield (as though these random and contradictory numbers justified keeping everyone else). And when someone finally demanded names (I believe it was congress that asked not the media...) they hemmed and hawed and came up with a few names... a few... like 3 or 4... and 1 of those "back"on the battlefield was still sitting in gitmo (probably in his dreams he was in the battlefiedl but I don't think that counts) 1 or 2 were never on a list as having been at Guantanamo, 1 guy had not only returned to the battlefield but was killed (according to the media reports dictated by the military) but they forgot to tell him and he was quietly rebuilding his life.
I am sure there are those of you who think we should try to ascertain everyone who has harbored ill thoughts about our government and lock them up... but that is not the american way... at least not the america I knew. We have trials. We determine guilt or innocence and then we punish the guilty. Perhaps if a system had been put in place when this man was held the outcome would have been different. Lastly I would just point out that this man was released because of a political deal between the US and Kuwait... the same way every man has been released so far... political deals, not court processes.