Monday, March 28, 2005
In case you were wondering who is really behind Guantánamo
The [Australian] Federal Government would be deeply embarrassed if Hicks was released without facing trial.
The Sydney man Mamdouh Habib was freed from Guantanamo after 3 years in prison, despite public US assurances he would face trial and the Government's insistence he had trained to be a terrorist bomb-maker.
The Sydney Morning Herald cites a Washington Post story—
Murat Kurnaz, a German Islamic missionary, was ruled by a military tribunal to be an enemy combatant even though US and German security agencies found there was no evidence of links to al-Qaeda or terrorism, the paper said. US military intelligence even concluded he had been arrested by mistake.
Instead, the paper said, the tribunal discarded this finding and focused on a short memo from an unnamed official saying he was a terrorist and had been unco-operative. That stance was criticised by Judge Joyce Green of the US Federal Court, who reviewed the case.
Mr Kurnaz remains at Guantanamo Bay more than three years after he was incarcerated. [emphasis added]
But you already knew all that about the ways of the American government, didn't you?
But determination of who is responsible for this sorry, unconstitutional and illegal state of affairs is harder to pin down. Nominally, of course, it would be George Bush. But I hope that no reader of Simply Appalling seriously believes that George could be responsible for anything other than, perhaps, an odor of corruption and thievery. The reins of government lie firmly in other hands—
Citing US military and government officials, The New York Times said the Pentagon was circulating a 232-page draft manual for the tribunals that would usher in "substantial changes" that would strengthen the rights of defendants, establish more independent judges and disallow confessions obtained by torture.
However, it also reported that the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, was vehemently opposed to any changes and their adoption was by no means certain.