Latest dump from Wikileaks looks at Guantanamo Bay  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The Wikileaks Twitter feed notes that their latest set of cables is being interpreted rather differently by CNN than it is by other, more impartial, media outlets. The CNN spin - WikiLeaks reveals details about Guantanamo detainees.

The documents shed light on the way detainees behaved while at Guantanamo, and on how they were assessed in terms of their danger to the United States. They are intelligence assessments of nearly every one of the 779 individuals who have been held at Guantanamo since 2002, according to the Post.

The classified files described some of the detainees as being compliant while others threatened violence against guards. One stated he would fly planes into houses. They also paint in great detail a portrait of al Qaeda as it grew stronger in Afghanistan in the 1990s, prepared for the 9/11 attacks and scattered in their aftermath.

Versus the BBC's - Wikileaks: Many at Guantanamo 'not dangerous'.
Files obtained by the website Wikileaks have revealed that the US believed many of those held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent or only low-level operatives.

The files, published in US and European newspapers, are assessments of all 780 people ever held at the facility. They show that about 220 were classed as dangerous terrorists, but 150 were innocent Afghans and Pakistanis.

Glenn Greenwald has a post noting Obama has already decided the supposed source of the Wikileaks cables is guilty, before he even goes in front of a military court - What Obama's Reckless Treatment of Bradley Manning Reveals About Our "Nation of Laws".
Protesters Thursday interrupted President's Obama speech at a $5,000/ticket San Francisco fundraiser to demand improved treatment for Bradley Manning. After the speech, one of the protesters, Logan Price, approached Obama and questioned him. Obama's responses are revealing on multiple levels. First, Obama said this when justifying Manning's treatment (video and transcript are here):
We're a nation of laws. We don't let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.

The impropriety of Obama's public pre-trial declaration of Manning's guilt ("He broke the law") is both gross and manifest. How can Manning possibly expect to receive a fair hearing from military officers when their Commander-in-Chief has already decreed his guilt? Numerous commentators have noted how egregiously wrong was Obama's condemnation. Michael Whitney wrote: "the President of the United States of America and a self-described Constitutional scholar does not care that Manning has yet to be tried or convicted for any crime." BoingBoing's Rob Beschizza interpreted Obama's declaration of guilt this way: "Just so you know, subordinate judging officers!" And Politico quoted legal experts explaining why Obama's remarks are so obviously inappropriate. ....

But even more fascinating is Obama's invocation of America's status as a "nation of laws" to justify why Manning must be punished. That would be a very moving homage to the sanctity of the rule of law -- if not for the fact that the person invoking it is the same one who has repeatedly engaged in the most extraordinary efforts to shield Bush officials from judicial scrutiny, investigation, and prosecution of every kind for their war crimes and surveillance felonies. Indeed, the Orwellian platitude used by Obama to justify that immunity -- Look Forward, Not Backward -- is one of the greatest expressions of presidential lawlessness since Richard Nixon told David Frost that "it's not illegal if the President does it."

But it's long been clear that this is Obama's understanding of "a nation of laws": the most powerful political and financial elites who commit the most egregious crimes are to be shielded from the consequences of their lawbreaking -- see his vote in favor of retroactive telecom immunity, his protection of Bush war criminals, and the way in which Wall Street executives were permitted to plunder with impunity -- while the most powerless figures (such as a 23-year-old Army Private and a slew of other low-level whistleblowers) who expose the corruption and criminality of those elites are to be mercilessly punished. And, of course, our nation's lowest persona non grata group -- accused Muslim Terrorists -- are simply to be encaged for life without any charges. Merciless, due-process-free punishment is for the powerless; full-scale immunity is for the powerful. "Nation of laws" indeed.

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