Sunday, July 13, 2008


My husband is among the small army of criminal defense lawyers representing the "enemy combatants" held at Guantanamo Bay. One of his clients, a poor, illiterate Afghani farmer whose first contact with electricity and plumbing occurred in Cuba, served five years before being released last year. His crime? The man's sister refused to marry a neighboring farmer, who then denounced her brother to the U.S.
Anecdote? One of a kind error?
# "A CIA analyst warned the Bush administration in 2002 that up to a third of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have been imprisoned by mistake, but White House officials ignored the finding and insisted that all were 'enemy combatants' subject to indefinite incarceration."

# "[A] top aide to Vice President Cheney shrugged off the report and squashed proposals for a quick review of the detainees' cases . . .

'There will be no review,' the book quotes Cheney staff director David Addington as saying. 'The president has determined that they are ALL enemy combatants. We are not going to revisit it.'"

# "[T]he [CIA] analyst estimated that a full third of the camp's detainees were there by mistake. When told of those findings, the top military commander at Guantanamo at the time, Major Gen. Michael Dunlavey, not only agreed with the assessment but suggested that an even higher percentage of detentions -- up to half -- were in error. Later, an academic study by Seton Hall University Law School concluded that 55 percent of detainees had never engaged in hostile acts against the United States, and only 8 percent had any association with al-Qaeda."
From the new book by Jane Mayer of New Yorker, as reported by Glenn Greenwald.