Monday, April 12, 2010

Here's A Shocker: Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Knew Hundreds of Gitmo Prisoners Were Actually Innocent

This really isn't anything new, it's something many people have been saying for a while now.

What makes it newsworthy is that Larry Wilkerson, former top aide to Colin Powell, Secretary of State when all this went down, has made a signed declaration making this accusation, as part of a lawsuit brought by a Sudanese man, Adel Hassan Hamad.

Hamad was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay from March 2003 until December 2007, and, in this lawsuit, filed April 8 against a list of American officials, he claims that he was tortured by US agents while in custody.

It should be noted here that Hamad was repatriated to Sudan without charges on December 12, 2007.

According to an April 9, 2010 article from the Times of London, Wilkerson claims that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld knew full well that most of the prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp were actually innocent... but "feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror."

Instead, they "deemed the incarceration of innocent men acceptable if some genuine militants were captured, leading to a better intelligence picture of Iraq at a time when the Bush Administration was desperate to find a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, thus justifying the Administration’s plans for war with that country."   (all emphasis mine)

Huh.  Now that's a big surprise, isn't it?
From the article:
"Colonel Wilkerson, a long-time critic of the Bush Administration’s approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq, claimed that the majority of detainees — children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, he said — never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken."(emphasis mine)
So... most of these guys were captured using a "Turn in your neighbor for fun & profit™!" program?

That's a real reliable method (as an aside - if these men didn't have terrorist leanings before they were made prisoners, what are they odds they do now?).

It will be interesting to see what kind of news coverage Hamad's lawsuit, and Wilkerson's statements therein, receives.

I'm betting that in the US media, it will scarcely raise an eyebrow.

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