15
   

Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

 
 
Woiyo9
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:06 pm
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Tuesday that 61 former detainees from its military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appear to have returned to terrorism since their release from custody.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said 18 former detainees are confirmed as "returning to the fight" and 43 are suspected of having done in a report issued late in December by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Morrell declined to provide details such as the identity of the former detainees, why and where they were released or what actions they have taken since leaving U.S. custody.

"This is acts of terrorism. It could be Iraq, Afghanistan, it could be acts of terrorism around the world," he told reporters.

Morrell said the latest figures, current through December 24, showed an 11 percent recidivism rate, up from 7 percent in a March 2008 report that counted 37 former detainees as suspected or confirmed active militants.

Rights advocates said the lack of details should call the Pentagon's assertions into question.

"Until enough information is provided to allow the press and the public to verify these claims, they need to be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism," said Jennifer Daskal, a Washington-based lawyer for Human Rights Watch.

Rights advocates contend that many Guantanamo detainees have never taken up arms against the United States and say the Defense Department in the past has described former detainees as rejoining "the fight" because they spoke out against the U.S. government.

"The Defense Department sees that the Guantanamo detention operation has failed and they are trying to launch another fear mongering campaign to justify the indefinite detention of detainees there," said Jamil Dakwar, human rights director at the American Civil Liberties Union.

President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office next Tuesday, is expected to issue an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also favors shuttering Guantanamo.

But the prison is unlikely to shut until after U.S. officials settle a myriad of legal and logistic issues, including a solution on where to house its occupants.

About 255 men are still held at the U.S.-run naval base in Cuba, a symbol of aggressive interrogation methods that exposed the United States to allegations of torture.

Pentagon officials say that about 110 detainees should never be released because of the potential danger they pose to U.S. interests.

Washington has cleared 50 of the detainees for release but cannot return them to their home countries because of the risk they would be tortured or persecuted there.

The Pentagon said it considers a former detainee's return to terrorism "confirmed" when evidence shows direct involvement in terrorist activities. U.S. officials see a "suspected" terrorism links when intelligence shows a plausible link with terrorist activities.

"Propaganda does not qualify as a terrorist activity," the Pentagon said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Gray, editing by David Alexander and David Wiessler)

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE50C5JX20090113?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true

Still think closing Guantanamo is a good idea?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 15 • Views: 2,286 • Replies: 51
No top replies

 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:09 pm
Yes.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:10 pm
@MontereyJack,
Yes.



Glad to see Monterey Jack back.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:12 pm
Yes.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:20 pm
@Woiyo9,
Yes.
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:24 pm
Why?
George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:27 pm
I don't have an objection to Guantanamo itself. I do have an objection to the
use of torture. If someone is suspected of terrorism, assemble the evidence and
try him.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:43 pm
@George,
And since now the first senior Bush administration official stated that (at least) one detainee was tortured ...
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:59 pm
Yes.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 03:02 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

And since now the first senior Bush administration official stated that (at least) one detainee was tortured ...



Yes.


God to see the first crack in the ridiculous glass wall of denial about torture.
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 04:07 pm
Maybe we should have offered them due process? Maybe we shouldn't have just stuck them in jail without charges and let them rot? Maybe we should have given them attorneys? Maybe they should have been tried like human beings? And maybe our government is full of crap?
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 06:15 pm
@NickFun,
That's it. I never bought into the theory they were neither POWs subject to Geneva Convention rules nor criminals entitled to a trial. Many of them guilty as hell, probably. That's why we have a criminal justice system.

Guantanamo is going to be a tough one to get rid of, though. I am not looking for a miracle from the coming administration.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 06:21 pm
Yes.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 06:29 pm
Yes.

And I'm wondering how many now fervently anti-US folk Guantanamo has actually created.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:19 pm
@Woiyo9,
Woiyo9 wrote:
Still think closing Guantanamo is a good idea?


Depends on the alternative.

We have the right to prevent captured enemy soldiers from returning to battle.

The norm that "it is wrong to execute the enemy without quarter" evolved in concert with the principle that "captured enemy soldiers can be detained until the end of the war, to prevent them from returning to combat".

If the left succeeds in denying America the right to detain captured enemy soldiers until the end of the war, that will remove any legal prohibitions against us simply killing them in cold blood.

So, if the alternative to Guantanamo is to simply massacre the detainees, I'm fine with closing Guantanamo.

If the alternative to closing Guantanamo is to just let captured enemy fighters return to the battlefield, then no, that is a very bad idea (and it will result in the military switching to the aforementioned "no quarter" stance even if they don't admit it).
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:22 pm
@George,
George wrote:
I don't have an objection to Guantanamo itself. I do have an objection to the use of torture. If someone is suspected of terrorism, assemble the evidence and
try him.


There is no need for a criminal trial in order to detain a captured enemy soldier until the end of the war.

True that torture is illegal though.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:26 pm
@NickFun,
NickFun wrote:
Maybe we should have offered them due process?


What does due process have to do with detaining a captured enemy soldier until the end of the war?



NickFun wrote:
Maybe we shouldn't have just stuck them in jail without charges and let them rot?


No, that is what you are supposed to do with captured enemy soldiers (at least until the end of the war).



NickFun wrote:
Maybe we should have given them attorneys?


What for? (Actually I think we did give them attorneys.)



NickFun wrote:
Maybe they should have been tried like human beings?


No need for a trial in order to detain a captured enemy soldier until the end of the war.



NickFun wrote:
And maybe our government is full of crap?


Nah.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:27 pm
@oralloy,
Well then, have they been properly treated as prisoners of war? As I suggested earlier, they are either one or the other.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:28 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
That's it. I never bought into the theory they were neither POWs subject to Geneva Convention rules nor criminals entitled to a trial.


They are POWs, and are subject to Geneva Convention rules. But probably not the particular Geneva Convention rules that you are thinking of.

Common Article Three applies though.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:32 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
Well then, have they been properly treated as prisoners of war?


No. It was illegal to torture them.



roger wrote:
As I suggested earlier, they are either one or the other.


There are a variety of statuses. It is possible for an enemy soldier to fail to qualify for coverage under the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, yet still be detained as an enemy fighter.
 

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