72% of Guantanamo detainees innocent


Glenn Greenwald
Salon
May 31, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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The Miami Herald‘s Carol Rosenberg reports that, this week, yet another federal judge has ordered the Obama administration to release yet another Guantanamo detainee on the ground that there is no persuasive evidence to justify his detention.  The latest detainee to win his habeas hearing, Mohammed Hassen, is a 27-year old Yemeni imprisoned by the U.S. without charges for 8 years, since he was 19 years old.  He has “long claimed he was captured in Pakistan studying the Quran and had no ties to al Qaida,” and that “he had been unjustly rounded up in a March 2002 dragnet by Pakistani security forces in the city of Faisalabad that targeted Arabs.”  Hassen is now the third consecutive detainee ordered freed who was rounded up in that same raid.  The Obama DOJ opposed his petition even though the Bush administration had cleared him for release in 2007.  He has now spent roughly 30% of his life in a cage at Guantanamo.

What’s most significant about this is that Hassen is now the 36th detainee who has won his habeas hearing since the Supreme Court in 2008 ruled they have the right to such hearings — out of 50 whose petitions have been heard.  In other words, 72% of Guantanamo detainees who finally were able to obtain just minimal due process (which is what a habeas hearing is) — after years of being in a cage without charges — have been found by federal judges to be wrongfully detained.  These are people who are part of what the U.S. Government continues to insist are “the worst of the worst” who remain, and whose release is being vehemently contested by the Obama DOJ.

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