Guantanamo Judge’s Torture Call Taints Entire Facility

Predictably, Judge Susan Crawford’s decision that the abusive treatment inflicted on one Gitmo detainee – Mohammad al Qahtani – in fall of 2002 fit her definition of “torture” has reinforced widely held perceptions that the entire operation is a torture factory.

By her judgment that al Qahtani was tortured, Crawford allowed anti-Guantanamo critics to paint with a broad brush. They leapt upon her statement to assume that all detainees have been tortured and demand release upon those grounds.

In today’s LA Times, perennial Gitmo critic Carol Williams notes that defense attorneys now call for all charges to be dropped because some of the 22 men now awaiting trial were tortured.

It is a short step between insisting charges be dropped and demanding outright release.

That some of these men in the docket are among the most brilliant, efficient terrorists in history is a salient fact that seems to elude those who are eager to condemn the US for the existence of Guantanamo.

Opponents “urged [Crawford] to clear the controversial court’s slate before the Tuesday inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, who has vowed to shut Guantanamo as one of his first actions,” Williams noted.

Obama, who readers of this post recognize is beginning to come to terms with what dangerous men are confined at Guantanamo, has already indicated that closure will “take time” perhaps a year or longer.

Such a delay is certain to evoke sharp criticism from supporters who believe that closure will be instantaneous upon his inauguration.

The debate over the fate of the Guantanamo detainees is heating up and will grow more bitter as new administration officials recognize the harsh fact that they are now responsible for national security.

Shortly they will become the target for critics of Guantanamo and of the war when they understand fully that they must deal with the realities that come with fighting it effectively.


23 Responses to “Guantanamo Judge’s Torture Call Taints Entire Facility”

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