Who’s in Guantanamo?


Jeralyn Merritt of Talkleft looks at a new report by Joshua Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall, which finds, using data supplied by the Pentagon, that “55% of the detainees [in Guantanamo] are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.”

Also: “Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% are have no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the vast majority of detainees in Guantanamo were captured not by U.S. forces, but by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance at a time when the United States was offering very large rewards for any “suspected enemies.”

So why are they all still being held? See also Corine Hegland’s cover story on Guantanamo in National Journal, which reports, among other things, that evidence considered “persuasive” in the military tribunals “is made up almost entirely of hearsay evidence recorded by unidentified individuals with no firsthand knowledge of the events they describe,” according to one legal adviser to the tribunals.

Fact:

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