Wilkerson: Cheney and Rummy Knew Gitmo Detainees Were Innocent

About a hundred of you have pointed to this story, which reports that Lawrence Wilkerson signed a declaration to support the lawsuit of a former Gitmo detainee, Adel Hassan Hamad, stating that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld knew there were innocent people at Gitmo.

Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.

[snip]

He also claimed that one reason Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld did not want the innocent detainees released was because “the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were”. This was “not acceptable to the Administration and would have been severely detrimental to the leadership at DoD [Mr Rumsfeld at the Defence Department]”.

Referring to Mr Cheney, Colonel Wilkerson, who served 31 years in the US Army, asserted: “He had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent … If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.”

He alleged that for Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld “innocent people languishing in Guantánamo for years was justified by the broader War on Terror and the small number of terrorists who were responsible for the September 11 attacks”.

Now, as Mary has pointed out, there was actually a study done in summer 2002 that showed that vast majority of those at Gitmo were innocent. So this is not news.

But I certainly welcome some public discussion about the maltreatment of a number of innocent people at Gitmo as we enter back into discussions on closing Gitmo.

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emptywheel @empiricalerror DOesn't look like there's any problem sharing data there.
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emptywheel @joanneleon I think he's calling out the troops bc we're about to go into recess yes. And Iran foes will draw it out.
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emptywheel Shorter Obama: Remember August 2009? Let's prevent that.
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emptywheel @BalkansBohemia Was just thinking that myself. Think he'll hold out until they beg him.
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emptywheel @runasand Does it know what you can do with a rifle? Maybe that's why...
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emptywheel @ErrataRob No. He has been downright nutty on these issues of late (including his suggestion of liability for providing encryption).
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emptywheel @mla1396 Well good, let's accelerate then so the bus good and splats. @ErrataRob
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emptywheel @writlargemag Torturing Gitmo detainees has never had negative repercussions. Connotations, sort of, among part of the public.
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emptywheel @mattblaze It's better if that happens abt 40 minutes too late for you to drive 3 hours to your connecting city to catch your next flight.
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emptywheel @ErrataRob Maybe it'll make it easier to kill in its entirety? Also, WTF happened to make Whitehouse into such a nut?
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emptywheel RT @HarleyGeiger: Rumor: @SenWhitehouse & @GrahamBlog want their #CFAA bill to be rolled into a manager's amendment for #CISA.
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emptywheel RT @sallyjenx: This right here is the best thing of all on Deflategate: http://t.co/5SI2slVF8z
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