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Inefficient Indefinite Detention and Torture. Be Thankful It's Not You.

Roger Cohen writes from Afghanistan:

Of the 770 detainees grabbed here and there and flown to Guantánamo, only 23 have ever been charged with a crime. Of the more than 500 so far released, many traumatized by those “enhanced” techniques, not one has received an apology or compensation for their season in hell.

Cohen’s source: the report Guantanamo and its Aftermath by Laurel E. Fletcher and Eric Stover of UC Berkeley and the Center for Constitutional Rights. When Cohen writes of them that these 23 individuals were “charged with a crime,” keep in mind that they actually weren’t charged in a court. They were put through a non-jury military tribunal system that Bush and the Congress engineered to permit hearsay and “confessions” obtained through torture as admissible evidence. Of those 23 who were “charged” and hauled before military commissions stacked against them, only 2 have been “convicted,” with 1 pleading guilty.

Torture and indefinite detention, for what? So that of 770 people, more than 500 could be released without charge — after years? So that 2 people could found guilty by a military tribunal?

Oh, look. I see the calendar. Today’s Thanksgiving. I’m supposed to be thankful.

I’m thankful it wasn’t me.

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