Saturday, January 23, 2010

Good riddance....task force

As they slink off into the sunset I would like to make a few observations about the miserable failure formerly known as the "Guantanamo Review Task Force." They closed shop yesterday in what I am sure many amongst them thought was a clever move...using the date Obama promised to close Guantanamo as their date to walk away. In fact, they even tried to pretend near the end, that this was the date they were always planning on ending things…as though this were all part of some great plan.

From the beginning the efforts of this task force were dismal (spending months trying to figure out how to get organize and whining about the lack of files) and when you combine it with the mishaps of the "justice" department you can't help but wonder if they were trying to outdo the old tag team of Killer Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon back in the 60's, with their antics.

The antics included having the “team” tell habeas counsel that if they would agree to stay their case it would be given a priority review. They forgot to mention that the only real benefit of the review (whether prioritized or not) was for the “justice” department…because it was the justice department that would then take the information from the review and if your client was so fortunate as to be “cleared for release” they used that information to put your case forever on hold…In other words, men who were cleared by the “review team” could no longer pursue their habeas cases and were no longer entitled to have a judge hear their habeas cases….

and to add insult to injury most who were “cleared” (110 according to the “team”) have not, for whatever reason, been released.

So for many of the men at Guantanamo the “team” has had a destructive influence, it once again took the power of Court intervention which we have fought for all of these years and shoved it up the Supreme Court’s ass…while most of the district court judges looked the other way and shrugged their collective shoulders.

For our clients this has meant another year of their illegal detentions, still with no end in sight.

Andy Worthington has more.

So “team” ….don’t let the door hit you on your way out.