Politics

Over 80 Free Men Held At Guantanamo Indefinitely

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We kidnap them, “interrogate” them and then find out they did nothing wrong. But then their countries don’t want them anymore.

From the Wash Post:

LONDON — More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them, according to Bush administration officials and defense lawyers.

More than a fifth are innocent? Wonder why the rest of the world isn’t too keen on our foreign policy these days? Well, you can’t have numbers like that and maintain your credibility as the beacon of freedom.

Here’s more…

Since February, the Pentagon has notified about 85 inmates or their attorneys that they are eligible to leave after being cleared by military review panels. But only a handful have gone home, including a Moroccan and an Afghan who were released Tuesday. Eighty-two remain at Guantanamo and face indefinite waits as U.S. officials struggle to figure out when and where to deport them, and under what conditions.

The delays illustrate how much harder it will be to empty the prison at Guantanamo than it was to fill it after it opened in January 2002 to detain fighters captured in Afghanistan and terrorism suspects captured overseas.

I wonder how many millions of dollars it’s going to take to sort through all this. Wasting taxpayer money by kidnapping suspected terrorists and having a failure rate of over 20% should be a campaign issue come 2008.

It can pretty much all be summed up in this paragraph…

[…] David M. Hicks, an Australian citizen, pleaded guilty in March to lending material support to terrorists. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and is scheduled to be transferred to Australia in May to serve his time there.

Defense lawyers for some of the 82 cleared prisoners whose release is pending said Hicks received a better deal than did their clients who were not charged with any offenses. “One of the cruel ironies is that in Guantanamo, you’ve got to plead guilty to be released,” said Wizner, the ACLU attorney. “It’s the only way out of there.”

Absolutely shameful.

One last thought…should we give them United States citizenship instead of continuing to hold them in prison for years on end?