Hyping the GITMO Boys Threat


gitmo american flag.jpgAfter spending some time in China recently listening to the stories of Chinese officials and others on what roles they played or in what circumstances they or their families suffered during the Cultural Revolution, I can easily imagine twenty or thirty years from now similar historic reflections in the form of special lectures, movies, even Broadway theater productions on the topic of “The Gitmo Boys.”
The Gitmo boys are the terrorists and suspected (but not proven) terrorists that America and its allies are holding and have held in extra-legal limbo at the US-controlled Guantanamo detention facilities in Cuba.
Today, there are big concerns about what happens if America’s legal system proves unable to process some of those detained — and judges eventually order them either transferred to their countries of home origin or just released.
My New America Foundation colleagues Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann have just published an important New York Times piece suggesting that the Pentagon may be engaged in hyping the recidivism rate of released GITMO detainees.
What has always bothered me about GITMO is the sloppiness and imprecision involved in US authorities making a clear case against the most violent and most extreme cases there versus detaining young boys, octogenarians, other “suspected” but unproven criminals, or even innocents. In my view, the sloppy management of GITMO detainees has undermined security and American national interests by actually creating the conditions by which the worst cases can’t easily be processed in our judicial system or even in the courts of our allies.
This was a huge mistake. Read the Bergen/Tiedemann article though which I find quite sober and balanced — and implicitly critical of the threat-hyping that DoD is engaged in.
— Steve Clemons


6 comments on “Hyping the GITMO Boys Threat

  1. Kathleen says:

    The worst of the worst, right? No charges, no trials, just by executive fiat I guess. Tyrany, thy name is Cheney. Pauline, thanxxx.


  2. pauline says:

    Here’s a story worth following.
    From an Emtptywheel’s blogger yesterday,
    “This comment goes back to your blog on Lizzie, Papa Dick, and libel. If you have time, check out my post from yesterday (link below) based on conclusions I came to while reading your post and the thread (linked above):
    Criminal Mismanagement: A unifying theory of Cheney’s media circus
    In a nutshell it links the Cheney family media circus to an Times ad against torture that came out on the very day of a press release for a shareholder lawsuit against 32 Halliburton execs, including cheney!
    Next, if you have time, check out this article by Larisa Alexandrovna at Huff Po from 2007 (from a longer article she links to):
    Lizzie Cheney – The Pride of Lockheed Martin – Speaketh
    That post tells how Lizzie, her husband, and Lynn are involved with Lockheed Martin, including Larisa’s comment about their involvement under bushco:
    So basically, Elizabeth Cheney runs a slush fund for terrorists, Islamic militants, and other such worthy characters in in order to create regime change for her daddy’s vision of the Middle East. And we, you and I, are paying for it.
    To my mind there is a huge story here and you are much better positioned to pull all the threads than I am. It may well need to become part of some of your time-lines.
    I know you’re involved in a ton of stuff. I’ll do what I can to follow up on this myself. But really, this seems to be the kind of thing you and your group do best!
    I think this story is the reason these folks are worried about libel!”


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing. Don pretty well summed it up, didn’t he? A shame that these posturing pieces of shit politicians in Washington can’t be so direct and concise.
    I never thought I’d live to see the day that the rhetoric, rationales, justifications, excuses, and explanations oozing forth from our body politik would be so consistently and completely aimed at idiots. Its a real sad commentary about American society if there really is a large contingent of citizens that are swallowing the horseshit flowing out of Washington DC.
    Like who are you going to believe about the photographs, Taguba, who investigated the torture, or this backsliding promise-anything-deliver-nothing lyin’ posturing fraud Obama, who claims the photographs are “nothing sensational”?
    Is there ANY campaign promise he hasn’t broken yet?
    Transparency, eh?
    Transparently full of crap. Thats about the only “transparency” we are getting out of Obama.


  4. Don Bacon says:

    The Bergen/Tiedemann article on the “recidivism rate” of people released from Gitmo is entirely misdirected. Recidivism is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior, and these people have never been found guilty of anything.
    What the US has done, as a part of its ‘Global War on Terror”, is to grab foreigners (and a few Americans) arbitrarily and harshly, some gathered by bounty hunters, in various countries, throw them into inhumane prisons where they are be tortured and otherwise abused, to include rape, and then to release a few of them when they promise not to take retribution against the United States.
    What do we expect them to do, forgive and forget? What would you or I do? The US has, by these illegal and brutal action, recruited innocent people to be dedicated enemies of the US. The wonder is that the mislabeled “recidivism rate” isn’t 100%.
    Gitmo with its couple of hundred prisoners is only the tip of the iceberg. The US military holds more than ten thousand unfortunate souls elsewhere, their release fueling the continued insurrection against US imperialism as a result of this bogus “recidivism” which is really recruiting an enemy.


  5. Dan says:

    What? The Department of Defense hyping up the threat of mere cave dwellers? No way!


  6. kotzabasis says:

    It’s more likely that “in twenty or thirty years from now” the “historic reflections” will be on the boys and girls of such as the Washington Note who delved in the sphere of geopolitics with their infantile ideas, as this post of Steve’s so pellucidly reflects. And the vaudevillian plays staged on Broadway “on the topic” ‘The Naughty Boys and Girls of the Washington Note’ will have as captions ‘Terrorist as SUSPECTS but not PROVEN.’ There is no scarcity of ivy league cast political comedians in Washington DC.


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