Tuesday, December 11, 2007


So I was coming into work today and I was listening to CSPAN Radio because they sometimes have some testy stuff that is interesting to me. Today they were listening to the testimony Mark Denbeaux, a professor at Seton Hall. What he and some of his students did was to take the official DoD files on all of the Gitmo detainees and analyze them. Their premise was to take whatever the files said as fact and try to categorize what the population at Gitmo actually looks like. The findings were surprising, to say the least.

There are two statements that are put out into the public discourse that are taken as fact regarding Gitmo. First, that the majority of the population in Gitmo were captured on the battlefield firing at US Troops. Second, that 30 prisoners that have been released have rejoined the fight on the battlefield. The study speaks to the first point, the second he addressed in his testimony.

Regarding the first point - and remember, this is all from the official DoD files - only 5% of the detainees were captured by US Forces. 55% of the total were found not to have committed any hostile acts against US or coalition forces. He testified that only 21 of the combatants were captured on the battlefield. Of those 21, only 1 was actually engaged in a hostile act against US Forces.

Pretty remarkable.

Regarding the second point, 15 of the 30 released cannot be located. Of the 15 that they know of, 3 made a documentary in London which somehow equates to returning to the fight. 7 are in a refugee camp which somehow equates to returning to the fight.

Seems the message and justifications for Gitmo may just be a little misleading.

Here is the report. The testimony should be available at Congresses website sometime later this week. It was in the Judiciary Committee.

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