Monday, January 26, 2009

Guantanamo Case Files


"President Obama's plans to expeditiously determine the fates of about 245
terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and quickly close the military
prison there were set back last week when incoming legal and national security
officials -- barred until the inauguration from examining classified material on
the detainees -- discovered that there were no comprehensive case files on many
of them."

Getting a lot of good information out of these guys, are you?

"Charles D. "Cully" Stimson, who served as deputy assistant defense secretary for
detainee affairs in 2006-2007, said he had persistent problems in attempts to
assemble all information on individual cases. Threats to recommend the release
or transfer of a detainee were often required, he said, to persuade the CIA to
'cough up a sentence or two.'"

One of the interesting aspects of the article is that it points to the fact that Guantanamo poisoned the well for everybody. Regardless of what each agency's operatives were allowed to do, they all used information from Guantanamo for their analyses. It's a tacit acceptance of torture. At the very least.

"In one federal filing, the Justice Department said that 'the record . . . is not
simply a collection of papers sitting in a box at the Defense Department. It is
a massive undertaking just to produce the record in this one case.' In another
filing, the department said that 'defending these cases requires an intense,
inter-agency coordination of efforts. None of the relevant agencies, however,
was prepared to handle this volume of habeas cases on an expedited basis.'"

Again, are we really expected to believe that good information was being collected from those held in Guantanamo? For all of our efforts at centralizing intelligence and information sharing, we are left with this. Probably by design. Either the DoJ is being left out (...a problem), or the intelligence community isn't getting sh*t from these detainees. And really, as Invictus points out, what could they be getting.

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