June 11, 2007

As many as 86% of Guantanamo Detainees Handed to US for Bounties

Professor Mark Denbeaux at Seton Hall Law School has conducted a profile of 517 Guantanamo detainees using data from the US Department of Defense. Among other things, he found that only 5% were captured by the US.

86% were turned over by Pakistan and the Northern Alliance at a time when the US had bounties for the capture of suspected Taliban, al-Qaeda and people's personal enemies that they pawned off on the US as the former.* The detainees were handed over to the US when strong political pressure was on Pakistan and the Norther Alliance to curry favor with the US.

The classification of the detainees breaks down as follows:

8% were "fighters for" a variety of poorly defined organizations.
30% were considered "members of" such groups, and
60% were merely considered "associated with" some organization.
2% had no classification.

55% were deemed not to have committed any hostile act against the US or coalition allies. In other words, the majority of these so-called "enemy combatants" weren't actually "combatants."

Some of the cases are pathetic. In one example, they cite someone who was conscripted to fight for the Taliban (as in forced to join or be executed). So, some guy who doesn't want to be shot, goes to work as a cook's assistant for Taliban forces in Narim, Afghanistan under the command of Haji Mullah Baki. The detainee fled from Narim to Kabul during the Northern Alliance attack and surrendered to the Northern Alliance. "Whew!" Finally freed from the clutches of the crazy Taliban... oops! Now it's off to be tortured and held without charge by the US, because the US has to show it's serious about the "war on terror."

Other "evidence" includes possession of a gun (common in Afghanistan), staying in a guest house *shrug*, captured by bounty hunters*, associated with unidentified groups or individuals.

* Bounty Announcements: "Get wealth and power beyond your dreams. Help the Anti-Taliban Forces rid Afghanistan of murderers and terrorists." or

"You can receive millions of dollars for helping the Anti-Taliban Force catch Al-Qaida and Taliban murderers. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life. Pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people." or

Turn in your personal enemy in the chaos of war and make a buck at the same time!

Wow. Isn't the United States of America a shining example of truth and justice?


Seaton Hall Law School report [PDF].

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