The U.S. couldn't find Gitmo detainee trial witnesses; the Guardian found them in three days!

| Fri Jun. 30, 2006 1:08 PM EDT

From the Guardian: so, so wrong...:

The U.S. government said it could not find the men that Guantánamo detainee Abdullah Mujahid believes could help set him free. The Guardian found them in three days.

Two years ago the U.S. military invited Mr Mujahid, a former Afghan police commander accused of plotting against the United States, to prove his innocence before a special military tribunal. As was his right, Mr Mujahid called four witnesses from Afghanistan.

But months later the tribunal president returned with bad news: the witnesses could not be found. Mr Mujahid's hopes sank and he was returned to the wire-mesh cell where he remains today.

The Guardian searched for Mr Mujahid's witnesses and found them within three days. One was working for President Hamid Karzai. Another was teaching at a leading American college. The third was living in Kabul. The fourth, it turned out, was dead. Each witness said he had never been approached by the Americans to testify in Mr Mujahid's hearing. [Italics mine]

The paper says Mujahid was one of 380 Guantánamo detainees whose cases were reviewed at "combatant-status review tribunals" in 2004 and 2005. "By the time the review tribunals ended last year the US government had located just a handful of the requested witnesses. None was brought from overseas to testify. The military lawyers simply said they were 'non-contactable. That was not entirely true." No kidding.