Monday, March 06, 2006

Kafka Lives: Guantánamo Bay Documents Released

An FOIA lawsuit from the Associated Press led to the release of more than 5,000 pages of documents related to the detainees at Guantánamo Bay:

But a reading of the voluminous files adds texture to the accusations that the men face and the way they have tried to respond to them. It also underscores the considerable difficulties that both the military and the detainees appear to have had in wrestling with the often thin or conflicting evidence involved.At one review hearing last year, an Afghan referred to by the single name Muhibullah denied accusations that he was either the former Taliban governor of Shibarghan Province or had worked for the governor. The solution to his case should have been simple, Mr. Muhibullah suggested to the three American officers reviewing his case: They should contact the Shibarghan governor and ask him.But the presiding Marine Corps colonel said it was really up to the detainee to try to contact the governor. Assuming that the annual review board denied his petition for freedom, noted the officer, whose name was censored from the document, Mr. Muhibullah would have a year to do so."How do I find the governor of Shibarghan or anybody?" the detainee asked."Write to them," the presiding officer responded. "We know that it is difficult but you need to do your best.""I appreciate your suggestion, but it is not that easy," Mr. Muhibullah said.

Voices Baffled, Brash and Irate in Guantánamo - New York Times


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