U.S. bars Gitmo defense lawyers
from reading shabby terror evidence
Andy Worthington, writing on the Wikileaks.ch site, writes that the Gitmo files show that most of the evidence against detainees is based on very shaky statements made by fellow prisoners, some of whom were mentally ill or stressed out from torture and others of whom were seeking preferential treatment.
Nevertheless, the Justice Department has ordered Gitmo defense attorneys to avoid reading the Wikileaks files.
"Alert readers will notice that they are cited repeatedly in what purports to be the government's evidence, and it should, as a result, be difficult not to conclude that the entire edifice constructed by the government is fundamentally unsound, and that what the Guantánamo Files reveal, primarily, is that only a few dozen prisoners are genuinely accused of involvement in terrorism.
"The rest, these documents reveal on close inspection, were either innocent men and boys, seized by mistake, or Taliban foot soldiers, unconnected to terrorism. Moreover, many of these prisoners were actually sold to US forces, who were offering bounty payments for al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects, by their Afghan and Pakistani allies -- a policy that led ex-President Musharraf to state, in his 2006 memoir, In the Line of Fire, that, in return for handing over 369 terror suspects to the US, the Pakistani government “earned bounty payments totalling millions of dollars.”