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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bmaz Kyle Orton. Boy, I don't know.
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bmaz @michaelwhitney Don't worry, in a couple of hours you can rare back and laugh like hell at my home town team and their 4th string QB.
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bmaz @michaelwhitney That seems to be familiar. Thinking is not today's Raiders game.
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bmaz Harbaugh's new team seems to be giving the Wagon Circlers fits today.
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bmaz @Re_Newsit Ugh. That's brutal.
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bmaz Give Chris Christie credit; his life hero Bruce Springsteen will always know he is a piece of trash, but the Assata Shakur thing was smart.
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JimWhiteGNV Sulu claimed this blanket when daughter left after Thanksgiving. There might be an argument tomorrow when she's back. http://t.co/hegBYZQw0J
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bmaz This is insulting to Matt Hasselback
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bmaz @OKnox Fair enough. Heck, I will pall around with Christie if he can give the Cardinals enough offensive bulk to beat the Squawks tonight.
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bmaz @OKnox So, last anybody saw you (at least on teh Twitters), you were palling around with Christie. Now 'Boys up by 28. Deal with the Devil?
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bmaz Welp, #HasPatLynchLandedYet? Cause if Justine Sacco is out of a job and a belligerent jackass like Lynch still has one, the world is screwed
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bmaz Apparently I have a fever. Or meh TeeVee is malfunctioning. Cause otherwise the world has ended and the Cowboys are up by 28. cc: @OKnox
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