Revealed: Most Guantanamo Detainees Captured By Warlords, Not US Military

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Revealed: Most Guantanamo Detainees Captured By Warlords, Not US Military

New analysis by the Guardian finds majority of men sent to military prison in Cuba captured by 'foreign partners' of U.S. with 'own interests' in roundups

Most of the men being held at Guantánamo Bay prison were captured by foreign spies, warlords, and other partners of the U.S., new reporting reveals. (Photo: Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay/flickr/cc)

Of the 116 men currently detained at Guantánamo Bay military prison, only three were captured by U.S. forces, while the rest were apprehended by foreign spies and warlords—new revelations which cast yet another layer of doubt on the veracity of their alleged crimes and the general purpose of the facility.

According to a Guardian analysis of U.S. military capture information, nearly 85 percent of detentions at Guantánamo Bay come from "foreign partners with their own interests in round-ups—overwhelmingly of Arab men in south Asian countries."

"The foundations of the guilt of the remaining 113...involves a degree of faith in the Pakistani and Afghan spies, warlords and security services," writes the Guardian's Spencer Ackerman.

In addition to Pakistan and Afghanistan, other countries that have sent detainees to Guantánamo Bay include Georgia, Turkey, Mauritania, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Thailand, Somalia, Kenya, and Iran, Ackerman writes.

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It has been known for years that many of the men were sold to the U.S. for a bounty, a practice which Amnesty International in 2007 said created a "culture in Pakistan where abductions, unlawful detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and deaths in custody occur with total impunity."

Even still, many U.S. officials continue to take the position that those being held at Guantánamo Bay are "the worst of the worst" terrorists, as Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) recently said, even as dozens of detainees await freedom after being cleared for release.

However, Ackerman notes, that sentiment is not shared among U.S. officials who are 'in the know':

Knowledgable US officials, including former Guantánamo prosecutors, consider that assessment overblown, particularly for the 52 men approved in 2010 by a multi-agency US assessment for transfer out of the facility.

[...] “There is great reason to disbelieve claims that detainees at Guantánamo are the ‘worst of the worst’, including the fact that many were sold to the US for a bounty, not based on any real quality intelligence the US had gathered,” said Laura Pitter of Human Rights Watch.

President Barack Obama, who campaigned on a promise to close Guantánamo Bay during his first year in office, in July was reportedly in "the final stages" of planning to shut down the facility. But as Common Dreams reported earlier this month, the Pentagon has intervened in at least a few cases to prevent the release of a hunger-striking inmate and several detainees who have already been cleared to go home.

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