Monday, November 20, 2006

AP Gets Shocking New Report on Gitmo

AP Gets Shocking New Report on Gitmo

The U.S. military called no witnesses, withheld evidence from detainees and usually reached a decision within a day as it determined that hundreds of men detained at Guantanamo Bay were "enemy combatants," according to a new report.

The analysis of transcripts and records by two lawyers for Guantanamo detainees, aided by more than two dozen law students, found that hearings that determined whether a prisoner should remain in custody gave the accused little opportunity to contest allegations against him.

"These were not hearings. These were shams," said Mark Denbeaux, an attorney and Seton Hall University law professor who along with his son, Joshua, is the author of the report. They provided an advance copy of the report to The Associated Press late Thursday and planned to release it Friday on the Internet.

Their report, based on an analysis of records of military hearings of 393 detainees, comes as the U.S. government seeks to severely restrict detainee access to civilian courts, arguing that the Combatant Status Review Tribunals should be their main legal recourse.

According to the report, the representatives said nothing in the hearings 14 percent of the time and made no "substantive" comments in 30 percent. In some cases, the representative appeared to advocate the government's position, the report said.

The report is based on transcripts of tribunals that the government first released earlier this year in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press as well additional records provided by lawyers for 102 Guantanamo detainees.

Among their findings:

--The government did not produce any witnesses in any hearing.

--The military denied all detainee requests to inspect the classified evidence against them.

--The military refused all requests for defense witnesses who were not detained at Guantanamo.

Are we protecting America or are we destroying what America stands for?

You tell me …

http://editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003409443&imw=Y

con·cept: AP Gets Shocking New Report on Gitmo