Incompetence: The Pentagon classified 164 of the detainees as enemy
combatants solely for their "links" to terrorist groups other than the
Taliban or al Qaeda. The Pentagon lists seventy-two such groups. The Seton
Hall researchers matched these against the proscribed groups on the State
Department Other Lists and the Patriot Act Exclusion List—and made a
startling finding. Fifty-two of the Department of Defense's seventy-two
groups do not appear on the State/Patriot Act lists. State would allow into
the country sixty-eight of the 164 men called "the worst of the worst" by
Rumsfeld, including members of Takfir-wal-Hijra, Mohammed Atta's group. If another Atta were to apply for a U.S. visa, apparently he'd get it.
State, the Pentagon, and Congress (which drew up the Patriot Act list) can't
agree on which groups should be proscribed. State does not, according to the
Seton Hall report, "recognize 60 groups that that Patriot Act
Terrorist Exclusion List designates as terrorist organizations." For its
part, the Patriot Act List does not recognize thirty-nine groups on State's
list. Only seven of seventy-two groups on the Pentagon list appear on both
the State and Patriot Act lists.
"If the Department of Defense List is correct," the Seton Hall lawyers and law students
conclude, "then domestic American civilians are not protected from members
of dangerous terrorist groups." Alternatively, "If the State Department
Other Lists and the Patriot Act Terrorist Exclusion Lists are correct, then
a significant number of Guantánamo Bay detainees are being held based on
their connection to groups that do not participate in terrorist activities." Which brings us to...
Criminality: The Pentagon is holding and probably torturing at least
sixty-four men that the State Department would, other things being equal,
admit into the United States. That is monstrous. If they get out alive they
will talk—and what they say could put Bush and Rumsfeld behind bars.
Rumsfeld must want all the prisoners dead to hide crimes that, as a recent New Yorker profile of a former high Pentagon official disgusted with his boss leaves no doubt, Rumsfeld authorized.
In an earlier report, the Seton Hall lawyers and law students examined the
"government's story" about why the detainees were being held. Fifty-five
percent did not, the Pentagon admits, commit any hostile acts against the
United States or coalition forces. Only eight percent are "al Qaeda
fighters." Only five percent were captured by U.S. troops. Ninety-three
percent were turned in by bounty hunters in Afghanistan and Pakistan and/or
by Pakistani government officials. The bounty hunters responded to leaflets
Get wealth and power beyond your dreams. You can receive millions of
dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaeda and Taliban murderers. This is
enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the
rest of your life.
If it is criminal to torture guilty men, it is downright evil to kidnap,
imprison, and torture men turned in on the word of bounty hunters. Evil to
torture men guilty of carrying Kalashnikov rifles in a country with a
"Kalashnikov Culture," where there are at least 10 million firearms for 29
million people. Evil to torture the assistant to a man serving as a
cook for Taliban forces fighting the Northern Alliance. Evil to torture men
whose only offense is to have been caught wearing olive drab clothing.
Senator Feingold wants the Senate to censure President Bush for illegally
wiretapping American citizens. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky on President
Nixon's impeachment for covering up a "third-rate burglary," censuring Bush
for wiretapping would be like indicting Al Capone for tax evasion.