The WoT Prisoners: And Then What?
By: Mark W Adams

Kevin Drum:

So here's what the tapes would have shown: not just that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative, but that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative who was (a) unimportant and low-ranking, (b) mentally unstable, (c) had no useful information, and (d) eventually spewed out an endless series of worthless, fantastical "confessions" under duress.
I'm just wondering when some "Patriot" gets it into his noggin that "right" thing to do is to put the Gitmo and Black Site detainees out of their misery.

If we keep them locked up indefinitely, they serve as a continuing embarrassment to the administration and the military/intelligence communities. Letting these alleged terrorists go constitutes inherent risks -- that they'll write best sellers about their experience as well and blow something up. And it's doubtful that any of them can be convicted of anything seeing as so much of the evidence against them was obtained through torture, something courts (real courts anyway) frown upon admitting into evidence.

That is of course all dependent upon what Justice Kennedy does in the Habeas Corpus cases they heard Friday. It's entirely possible that the swing voter on the SCOTUS will decide that acknowledging habeas for detainees is unnecessary, pronouncing in effect that Guantanamo Bay is a law-free zone.

It's outsourcing or burying them, however, if Kennedy sides with the centrists and rejects the Court righties' position that their hand-picked PrezNitWit can do no wrong. (That's right, there are no real liberals on the court. Not since Throrogood Marshal died. Sorry Mrs. Ginsberg.) This becomes a real dilemma for a President Clinton, Obama or Edwards since these guys will no doubt still be locked up a year from now. It's a debate question just waiting to tie one of them in knots:

What do we do with the prisoners after we close Gitmo?

Now, since a convenient "accident" or a tactically expedient bullet are not something anyone is likely to order and leave a paper trail, or an order that can be followed by any Federal officer without dire consequences. They destroyed tapes of torture to avoid prosecution. Outright murder and death-by-torture carry the same penalty -- lethal injection, even if you were "only following orders." I wouldn't risk it, would you?

And no sooner does the question occur, but we find cases on just this problem is making its way up the appellate court ladder.
(AP) - WASHINGTON-A federal appeals court is zeroing in on the problem of Guantanamo Bay in reverse: detainees in U.S. custody who want out but do not want to be sent home.

Ahmed Belbacha is not happy to be at Guantanamo Bay, but neither is he happy about the alternative he says was chosen for him by the U.S. government, Algeria, where Belbacha says he would be tortured.

Belbacha's lawyer, David Remes, asked a three-judge panel to block any plans the Bush administration might have for moving his client into Algerian custody until the Supreme Court decides a case covering all Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
I'm guessing the courts punt on this one. Out of sight, out of mind. These folks are getting shipped, and shipped to truly horrible places. They may get a pro forma extradition hearing, or even a habeas writ. But since they don't have Visas to be here, we'll deport them if they win.

These guys are doomed. Just doomed.

1 Comment:

shep said...

Yes, because it's not about anything we do to them; they just hate us for our freedom.