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Gitmo propaganda

January 7, 2010

The NYT reports today that only “one in five [of the hostages released from Torture Camp Guantánamo] has engaged in, or is suspected of engaging in, terrorism or militant activity. Gosh, who knew that four fifths of the Guantánamo hostages weren’t connected to the so called ‘terrorism’?

A Pentagon report released last May found that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners who had been transferred had engaged in terrorism or militant activity or was suspected of doing so.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, would not confirm the findings in the most recent Pentagon report, but he said Wednesday at a briefing that “the trend hasn’t reversed itself.” He said that determining which Guantánamo detainees should be released was an “inexact science” and that officials were “making subjective calls based upon judgment, intelligence, and so there is no foolproof answer in this realm.”

Civil liberties and human rights groups sharply criticized the May 2009 report and earlier Pentagon reports during the Bush administration concluding that substantial numbers of former Guantánamo detainees had engaged in terrorism or militant activity. The groups said that the information was too vague to be credible and amounted to propaganda in favor of keeping the prison open. [my bold]

In the May report, the Pentagon said that 74 former prisoners were engaged in or suspected of engaging in terrorism or militant activity, but it identified only 29 of them by name. Of those, many were described as associating with terrorists or training with terrorists, with few other details provided. The Pentagon provided no way of authenticating the 45 unidentified former detainees.

The NYT also reports:

Mr. Obama’s decision to suspend the transfers of detainees from Guantánamo to Yemen was another reflection of his difficulties in closing the prison.

The president was already on track to miss his self-imposed one-year deadline for closing the prison by Jan. 22, but evidence that the Qaeda branch in Yemen was behind the attempted airliner attack on Dec. 25 means he will probably fall further behind schedule.

Andy Worthington writes in LibCon:

To this I would only add that, nearly a year after President Obama took office, I hope that the list and its references provide a useful antidote to the current scaremongering regarding the failed Christmas plane bomber, Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and his alleged ties with one — just one — of the 574 prisoners released from Guantánamo, in a Yemen-based al-Qaeda cell.

This purported connection is being used by those who want the evil stain of Guantánamo to endure forever to argue that no more of the Yemenis — who make up nearly half of the remaining prisoners — should be released.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 14:46

    These leaked reports were transparent political ploys meant to try to keep Gitmo open forever. The Bush Regime severely corrupted the US military.

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