Judge Sides with Guantanamo Detainee

If you haven't noticed, Obama is still holding prisoners down at
Guantanamo Bay, even though he promised to have the place shut down by
six months ago.

And leaving aside his upcoming shell game, whereby he's going to
shuffle prisoners over to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, consider for
the moment the case of one individual still held at Guantanamo.

His name is Mohammed Hassan Odaini. He's been at Guantanamo for
eight years now. He was just 18 when he was taken there, having been
plucked by Pakistani police while he was at university and when he had
spent one night at a guest house.

Odaini always asserted that he had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, and
actually his interrogators agreed shortly after he arrived. In 2004, a
Pentagon official cleared him for release, but for six extra years now,
he's languished down there.

This is an outrage, as U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy ruled on Thursday.

In a 36-page decision that included seven full pages that were
blotted out and many additional paragraphs that were redacted, Judge
Kennedy wrote that "the evidence before the court overwhelmingly
supports Odaini's contention that he is unlawfully detained."

Judge Kennedy said that the government lawyers engaged in a
"misrepresentation of the evidence" and that they failed to summon
"anything close" to the evidence necessary to hold Odaini.

In conclusion, Judge Kennedy wrote: "The evidence before the court
shows that holding Odaini in custody at such great cost to him has done
nothing to make the United States more secure. There is no evidence
that Odaini has any connection to Al Qaeda. Consequently, his detention
is not authorized by the AUMF [Authorization of Use of Military Force,
passed by Congress after 9/11]. The court therefore emphatically
concludes that Odaini's motion must be granted." Note the word

It's cases like Odaini's that raised the ire of the world about
what's been going on down at Guantanamo, and that got Obama to agree to
shut place down.

But Obama still drags his feet. And these grotesque injustices continue.

By the way, on Monday, June 14, 27 activists from the group Witness Against Torture face trial for their nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol on January 21.

"The continued operation of the prison camp at Guantanamo is
unacceptable," Matthew W. Daloisio of Witness Against Torture. "If
Guantanamo was a foreign policy liability and stain on the rule of law
on day one of the Obama presidency, it surely is eighteen months later."

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