Posted by Brad @ 1:13 pm on April 25th 2011

WikiLeaks Continues Committing Egregious Acts of Journalism Against the United States

I think the best read on the Gitmo dump that WikiLeaks did last week is Amy Davidson’s quick-read.

I am at a point now where I will no longer argue Gitmo or our treatment of detainees with supporters (of what I’m not sure) who chose to remain ignorant about the facts of it. Because the facts of Gitmo – it really is the keystone cops of terrorist intelligence gathering – are so radically different than the popular mythologizing of it on the right (the “worst of the worst”, battle-hardened Al Queda commandos grabbed on the battlefield armed to the teeth and firing at Americans, and now, after years of tense interrogations, giving up vital information terrorist operations) that I just don’t have the energy required to educate them on it, and the truth is they don’t really care to be educated anyway.

But the document dump today just further adds to the picture that Gitmo, now an American institution, was really just a place where we did things when we had no idea what we were doing but figured we ought to be doing something.

“It is undetermined as to why the detainee was transferred to GTMO,” the base commander wrote in a report on one of “three hapless Tajiks,” as the Guardian described them, who had been shipped there after being rounded up with others—not on what supporters of Guantánamo like to call the battlefield, but in the library at the University of Karachi, in Pakistan. They were held for two years.

And the Al Jazeera journalist, a Sudanese cameraman named Sami al-Hajj, was held for six years. There were vague allegations that he was helping Al Qaeda help the Chechens (he denied them and, indeed, he was released by the Bush Administration without charges against him), but his lawyer has said that his interrogators were just interested in Al Jazeera. And, indeed, one of the “reasons for transfer” to Guantánamo in his file is to “provide information on”

The al-Jazeera News Network’s training program, telecommunications equipment, and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, including the network’s acquisition of a video of [Osama bin Laden] and subsequent interview with [bin Laden].

Is that what Guantánamo is for? Every journalist should wonder what information he or she might have that the government could find useful. (The file also says that among the items al-Hajj had on him when he was arrested were “several photos of an infant.”)

1 Comment »

  1. Meanwhile, even though this information is now in the public domain, the DOJ is warning Gitmo defense attorneys that it is all inadmissible.

    Comment by Brad — 4/26/2011 @ 10:53 am

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