Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Court Clears Another Gitmo Detainee

As my colleague Daphne Eviatar notes, yet another Gitmo detainee has been found innocent by a federal judge and ordered to be released. That brings the score to 31-8 in favor of detainees being innocent vs guilty. And not one of those cases has been based on any sort of technicality like Miranda rights, as the ridiculous right wing keeps screaming about in the KSM case.

Rather, they’ve been based on virtually non-existent evidence – the same thing that Col. Stephen Abraham resigned over when he was working for the Pentagon at Gitmo reviewing the evidence in the files on each detainee. As the New York Times said about him:

Most detainees, he said, have no realistic way to contest charges often based not on solid information, but on generalizations, incomplete intelligence reports and hints of terrorism ties.

“What disturbed me most was the willingness to use very small fragments of information,” he said, recounting how, over his six-month tour, he grew increasingly uneasy at what he saw. In the interviews, he often spoke coolly, with the detachment of a lawyer, but as time wore on grew agitated as he described his experiences.

Often, he said, intelligence reports relied only on accusations that a detainee had been found in a suspect area or was associated with a suspect organization. Some, he said, described detainees as jihadist without detail.

Pentagon officials have dismissed his criticisms as biased and said he was not in the position to have seen the entire process work.

The problem is that when the Pentagon has the opportunity to present all the evidence they have, the courts — including conservative Republican judges — have concluded nearly 80% of the time that Abraham was right, that the evidence against many of the detainees is virtually non-existent.