Thursday, March 16, 2006

Leaving a Hood Over Our Eyes

NPR is reporting that Maj. Gen. Jay Hood commander of the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will be leaving soon.

Hood tells reporter Jackie Northam that the allegations and scandals involving abuse at the prison are a figment of the media's imagination.

"There have been so many wild and outrageous statements that have appeared in the media which would indicate that we are an abusive, coercive, torturous sort of group," Hood says. "The idea that we have rogue guards roaming around who might beat or abuse detainees is simply absurd."
Hood took over operations of the prison two years ago from Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and we all know what a stand up guy he is.

If you prefer reality...

The group Human Rights First has a terrific report that kind of sums up the whole mess, not just at Guantanamo but everything that has come about in the name of fighting terror.

Ira Glass's This American Life did a report on the habeas corpus rights of the prisoners at Guantanamo last week. Reporter Jack Hitt references a study from from Seton Hall Law School that looked into the 517 declassififed case files on the detainess being held at the prison.

The study found that:

55% of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.

Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% have no definitive affiliation with with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Only 5% of the detainees were captured by United States forces. 86% of the detainees were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to U.S. custody.
The report goes on to say that countries that turned over those detainees to U.S. forces were paid a bounty.

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