Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One in four released Gitmo detainees back at it again


U.S. Navy photo by Shane T. McCoy
By GARY BAUMGARTEN
You’d think that when the United States government releases Guantanamo Bay detainees there would be certainty that those freed would not then engage in terrorism.
But a report by the White House Office of the Director of National Intelligence concludes that one in four of those allowed to go free have engaged or are suspected of engaging in terrorist activities. The report tracks detainees released by both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Now, it’s possible that they were mistakenly rounded up and became militant as a result of their experiences in the custody of the United States. Anyone who might be innocent and held for years in such conditions might likely turn his anger toward the U.S. and its allies.
On the other hand, perhaps some of those identified by the DNI were correctly identified as terrorists when apprehended and are just returning to their evil ways.
Neither scenario really addresses the macro issue – what should be done about those still held at Gitmo?
President Obama pledged when he was elected to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. He said the government would place on trial those who ought to be there and release those who ought not. But that has turned into a political hot potato. The administration can’t seem to decide whether they ought to be tried under a military tribunal or whether they should be brought into a civilian federal court – where things are done in the open.
There are those who fear doing so might cause the government to either reveal information vital to national security during trial – or be forced to drop cases instead.
Regardless, when of the principles behind the forming of the United States is the right to a fair and speedy trial. These detainees are being deprived of that right. The report shows that no matter which of the two scenarios one picks –  the nation, its allies and the detainees are all suffering as a result.
Gary Baumgarten is the news and programming director at the Paltalk News Network.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re Gitmo
With regard to the Guantanamo prisoners I suggest an offer be made to trade two of them for a soldier named Bergdahl. He was thought deceased and now we see he is alive.

The Taliban will gain "honor", we will retrieve our soldier (albeit he will need much mental and physical therapy); this is the right thing.

Two prisoners less at Guantanmo, and one of ours home alive.