Monday, May 15, 2006

Pentagon identifies all Gitmo detainees

No, seriously.

The handover marks the first time that everyone who has been held at Guantanamo Bay in the Bush administration's war on terror has been identified, according to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chito Peppler. A total 201 of the names have never been disclosed by the Defense Department before.

The list is in pdf form here. But even more interesting is who isn't on it:

But none of the most notorious terrorist suspects were included, raising questions about where America's most dangerous prisoners are being held.

With this release, we'll start getting the stories behind the detentions. It'll be interesting to see how compelling those stories are. I have no doubt that at least some of the people at Gitmo deserved to be there. But it seems that large numbers of them committed no crime other than being in some way associated with the Taliban. And nothing justifies depriving detainees of their rights, be that access to a court or treatment according to the Geneva Conventions.

Let us hope that the Gitmo experiment is rapidly coming to an end, not to be repeated any time soon. And then let us turn our attention to the hidden prisoners still in U.S. custody. They appear to be uniformly bad people; I'm glad they're behind bars, and hope they stay there for a very long time. But we are still honor- and duty-bound to treat them according to the law. Even Saddam gets a trial; so, too, should our remaining prisoners.

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