Saturday, April 10, 2010

Guantánamo coverup to justify war on Iraq

George W. Bush 'knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent'
Times Online: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror... The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State...

Colonel Wilkerson... claimed that the majority of detainees -- children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, he said -- never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken.

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.'...

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 Guantanamo detainees were innocent... Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld... deemed the incarceration of innocent men acceptable if some genuine militants were captured, leading to a better intelligence picture of Iraq at a time when the Bush Administration was desperate to find a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, 'thus justifying the Administration's plans for war in that country.'

There are currently about 180 detainees left in the facility.
Image source here.