In another victory for the rule of law and a defeat for the Bush administration’s “war on terror” policies (sadly continued by the Obama administration), U.S. District Judge James Robertson has ordered the release of Mohamedou Slahi, who has been held at Guantanamo since 2002, without charges. The Miami Herald has the story:
“A federal judge on Monday ordered the Pentagon to release a long-held Mauritanian captive at Guantánamo Bay who was once considered such a high-value detainee that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld designated him for “special interrogation techniques.”
About those “special techniques” ordered by Rumsfeld
“Slahi is the 34th Guantánamo detainee ordered freed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled detainees could challenge their incarceration in federal court, but his name was already well known because of investigations into detainee abuse.
The interrogations were so abusive a highly regarded Pentagon lawyer, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, quit the case five years ago rather than prosecute him at the Bush administration’s first effort to stage military commissions.”
Those probes found Slahi had been subjected to sleep deprivation, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, moved around the base blindfolded, and at one point taken into the bay on a boat and threatened with death. Investigators also found interrogators had told him they would arrest his mother and have her jailed as the only female detainee at Guantánamo if he did not cooperate.
And as if any further proof of the ineffectiveness of those interrogation methods were needed (emphasis added):
“In November 2006 he wrote his lawyers that he had denied any wrongdoing while in custody until he was tortured. “I yess-ed every accusation my interrogators made,” after they tortured him, he said. “I even wrote the infamous confession about me planning to hit the CN Tower in Toronto.”
The Obama Justice Department is “reviewing the ruling.” *Sigh* Here’s the only “review” needed:
“He’s been incarcerated, tortured and interrogated and rendered illegally,” said attorney Nancy Hollander of Albuquerque, N.M., who represents Slahi free of charge. “After almost 10 years the government has not been able to meet the minimal burden to detain him that’s required under habeas. He should be free.”