interrogation and incompetence

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This WaPo article about the Gitmo case files illustrates a SNAFU of the highest order:

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.

[...]

There have been indications from within and outside the government for some time...that evidence and other materials on the Guantanamo prisoners were in disarray, even though most of the detainees have been held for years.

[...]

In a court filing this month, Darrel Vandeveld, a former military prosecutor at Guantanamo who asked to be relieved of his duties, said evidence was "strewn throughout the prosecution offices in desk drawers, bookcases packed with vaguely-labeled plastic containers, or even simply piled on the tops of desks."

He said he once accidentally found "crucial physical evidence" that "had been tossed in a locker located at Guantanamo and promptly forgotten."

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly asks us to "put this in an even larger context" and to "consider just how big a mess Bush has left for Obama here:

The previous administration a) tortured detainees, making it harder to prosecute dangerous terrorists; b) released bad guys while detaining good guys; and c) neglected to keep comprehensive files on possible terrorists who've been in U.S. custody for several years.

Mcjoan at DailyKos focuses on the observation that "the Bush administration's focus on detention and interrogation made preparation of viable prosecutions a far lower priority" and concludes:

Detention and interrogation (read, "torture") were a higher priority than figuring out which cases actually merited prosecution. In other words, locking them up and torturing them was more important than determining if they were actually guilty and prosecuting them for their crimes.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 26, 2009 2:18 PM.

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