War on Terror: Where is the Battlefield?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Maybe I am being overly technical here but once again I have to call out Scott McClellan and the White House. In a press briefing given yesterday when asked about the treatment of people in Guantanamo, Mr. McClellan tried to put into perspective who these people being detained were and where they came from. He told reporters "Now, these detainees are dangerous enemy combatants. They are at Guantanamo Bay for a reason. They were picked up on the battlefield fighting American forces, trying to kill American forces."
I was not there to ask follow up questions but my understanding of this statement would be that the people being held in Gitmo were directly battling American troops either on the battlefield in Afgahnastan or Iraq. However a little research would suggest otherwise, The Associated Press released a list of detainees at Guantanamo Bay whose cases before U.S. military tribunals are detailed in Federal Court. Reviewing this small list of detainees it quickly becomes clear that either the battlefield is everywhere or all of the people in Gitmo were not picked up on the battlefield fighting American forces. Some of these "mystery battlefield" detainees are: Bisher Amin Khalil Al-Rawi--picked up in Gambia, Boudella Al Hajj--picked up in Bosnia, Abdul Latif El Banna--picked up in England and Abdullah Kamel Abudullah Kamel--picked up in Kuwait. This is just another classic example of the administration trying to deflect critisism of the treatment of humans in Gitmo by painting them as something they are not.


jmcmaster said...

As a side note I would suggest reading some of the tribunal documents. Usually around page 8-10 is when they get interesting. Seems very few were picked up on the battlefield, or even doing anything terrorist related.

Daedalus said...

hmmm... i guess having a cousin who knows the brother of a friend of the father of a friend who has a cousin who knows a friend of a cousin of a neighbor to the guy who sold a chicken to a terrorist makes one guilty as sin and worthy of indefinite detention.

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