Three More Guantanamo Detainees to Be Released

Three more Guantanamo detainees are being released and returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are Mohamed Nechle, Mustafa Ait Idir and Hadj Boudella.

The transfers would be the first releases from the prison made by the Bush administration because of a court order.

....The transfer, which has not been formally announced by the Pentagon, was a signal that the administration was acknowledging its defeat in the first habeas corpus case to reach a full factual hearing since the Supreme Court ruled last June that detainees at Guantánamo had a constitutional right to contest their detentions in federal court.

Five Bosnians were ordered released by the Court. What about the other two? [More...]

The detainee for whom the Supreme Court ruling was named, one of the six Algerians who had been living in Bosnia, Lakhdar Boumediene, was not to be among the three released, evidently because he had been stripped of his Bosnian citizenship at the time of his detention because of questions about how he obtained it.

The article doesn't mention the other Bosnian the Pentagon won't release. As to background,

After hearing a week of secret evidence in the case of the six Bosnians, a federal district judge in Washington, Richard J. Leon, ruled last month that the evidence presented by the government had not been sufficient to prove that five of the men were enemy combatants.

Judge Leon urged the administration to free the men, and not to appeal the ruling, saying that seven years was long enough for them to get a court decision. The ruling drew international attention, in part because it was the first full court test of the government’s detention evidence and because Judge Leon, considered a conservative, was an appointee of President Bush.

Were the men dangerous?

The case against the six men offered the latest example of the administration’s pattern of changing strategy in its legal defense of the detention camp. On the eve of the hearing before Judge Leon, the Justice Department said it was abandoning its claims about the embassy bombing plot. Instead, it claimed in court that the men had been planning to go to Afghanistan to fight Americans.

The defense lawyer for one of the men to be released says:

“It’s tragic that it took seven years and the ruination of their lives to accomplish this."

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    Tangential to the topic (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:28:37 PM EST
    Digby quotes a Vanity Fair article about the use of torture to get pre-Iraq war intelligence:

    "As soon as I learned that the reports had come from torture, once my anger had subsided I understood the damage it had done," a Pentagon analyst says. "I was so angry, knowing that the higher-ups in the administration knew he was tortured, and that the information he was giving up was tainted by the torture, and that it became one reason to attack Iraq.

    "We didn't know he'd been waterboarded and tortured when we did that analysis, and the reports were marked as credible as they could be." However, approval for Abu Zubaydah's treatment had been given at the highest level.

    "The White House knew he'd been tortured. I didn't, though I was supposed to be evaluating that intelligence," the analyst says. "It seems to me they were using torture to achieve a political objective. I cannot believe that the president and vice president did not know who was being waterboarded and what was being given up."

    At times I wonder how I can continue living in this country. If we did not have the ability to change our government I would feel morally compelled to leave. If our new government does not punish the people responsible for this I will feel like a moral coward for staying - because of course I will stay. I get as complacent as anyone else about this stuff - figuring that if it stops under Obama, that will be enough.  But it's not enough.

    no, it isn't. (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 06:18:51 PM EST
    But it's not enough.

    but don't hold your breath waiting for either an obama administration, or democratic congress to pursue this, unless it involves sex with someone not their spouses. that is a terribly, terribly important issue.

    my reservations about obama are crystalizing daily.