BookReview: Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power
by Joseph Margulies, Simon & Schuster, June 27, 2006, 0743286855
"Margulies, a Minneapolis lawyer and civil rights activist, served as lead counsel in Rasul v. Bush, successfully petitioning the Supreme Court to extend the right of judicial review to all prisoners at Guantanamo Bay." (Publisher's Weekly)
I read this book with an open mind. I had the previous impression that the prisoners at Guantanamo were somehow guilty of something other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Indeed, that's what most of them are guilty of. Only 5% were captured by the US Military. The rest were captured by people and countries who had a vested interest in capturing people. Many of the people are innocent, and some were simply in a bad way with other terrorists who had been tortured to give names. One is a high school teacher who gave a terrorist a bad grade, and this was his way of getting even.
Many of the people have been tortured so badly that they are no in a special psychiatric wing built at the jail. The torture is psychological, not the primitive kind that involves pulling out nails (although some have been subject to this kind of torture before they were brought to the jail).
You have to read the book to understand how farcical it was for Bush to say "these guys are the worst of the worst".
The Bush Administration lost its case in the Supreme Court, but nothing has changed. Most of the people cannot be let out, because they are either crazy or would divulge the criminal treatment that they have been subject to. None has been convicted. Few have been charged. Many have gone through Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs), which are kangaroo courts that the Supreme Court just recently has said were illegal. Here's a digested transcript from the book of a CSRT:
Via Rob 2006
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