Lynch Mob Minds

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Here’s why Boumediene v. Bush is so important:

An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that… dozens of men — and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds — whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.

It gets worse

The investigation also found that despite the uncertainty about whom they were holding, U.S. soldiers beat and abused many prisoners.

Prisoner mistreatment became a regular feature in cellblocks and interrogation rooms at Bagram and Kandahar air bases, the two main way stations in Afghanistan en route to Guantanamo.

I guess because for some people, torture is FUN? And as we can expect:

The McClatchy reporting also documented how U.S. detention policies fueled support for extremist Islamist groups. For some detainees who went home far more militant than when they arrived, Guantanamo became a school for jihad, or Islamic holy war.

Which tells us — if we’re sane — that Bush’s policy was downright stupid?

“As far as intelligence value from those in Gitmo, I got tired of telling the people writing reports based on their interrogations that their material was essentially worthless,” a U.S. intelligence officer said in an e-mail, using the military’s slang for Guantanamo.

Guantanamo authorities periodically sent analysts at the U.S. Central Command “rap sheets on various prisoners and asked our assessment whether they merited continued confinement,” said the analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “Over about three years, I assessed around 40 of these individuals, mostly Afghans. … I only can remember recommending that ONE should be kept at GITMO.”

So does the administration listen?

In 2002, a CIA analyst interviewed several dozen detainees at Guantanamo and reported to senior National Security Council officials that many of them didn’t belong there, a former White House official said.

Despite the analyst’s findings, the administration made no further review of the Guantanamo detainees. The White House had determined that all of them were enemy combatants, the former official said.

Rather than taking a closer look at whom they were holding, a group of five White House, Justice Department and Pentagon lawyers who called themselves the “War Council” devised a legal framework that enabled the administration to detain suspected “enemy combatants” indefinitely with few legal rights.

It goes on and on, and should be read in full.

It also demonstrates why all those politicians bemoaning Boumediene as the worst decision ever, etc., strike me as little more than lynch mobbers at heart.

Additionally, we learn and must not forget the rationale behind lynching is not to confront and end a supposed threat, but to magnify and continue it. “Guantanamo became a school for jihad…” and that’s the point.

Once George Bush adopted a Dudley Do-right persona and told the nation “I’ll save you, Nell,” there had to be a planet full of Snidely Whiplashes to save us, the collective Nell, from. No Snidely, no reason for Bush to be in the White House. No Bush, no path for Cheney and his neo-thuggies to raid the common good.

Thank God Boumediene v. Bush told them the game is up. No to make sure our homegrown terror state apparatus is finally dismantled.


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