I still can’t believe we justified holding people indefinitely without access to council or hope for trial. And the following case shows just how egregious that practice was since 4 out of the 5 men ordered released weren’t even “enemy combatants.”
For the first time, a federal judge ordered the release yesterday of detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay after evaluating and rejecting government allegations that five men were dangerous enemy combatants.
The government had alleged that the men planned to travel to Afghanistan to attack U.S. forces. But U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that in a series of closed hearings in recent weeks, the Justice Department had not proved that five of the six Algerian detainees at the Cuban facility were enemy combatants under the government’s own definition.
Leon ordered them released “forthwith” and said the government should engage in diplomatic efforts to find them new homes. In an unusual moment, he also pleaded with Justice Department lawyers not to appeal his order, noting that the men have been imprisoned since shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
By the way, 20 years from now what do you think we’ll say about Guantanamo Bay and the “war” on terrorism?