Editor’s Note: Many Americans hope the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will permit the winding down of government excesses related to the “war on terror,” including a sensible process for adjudicating the scores of cases still pending against Guantanamo Bay detainees.
However, neoconservatives and other hardliners are pressing for even more draconian government powers aimed at accused “terrorists” and permitting the expansion of the global war against Islamic militants, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes in this guest essay:
The WikiLeaks documents released on Guantanamo prisoners indicate appalling military incompetence in haphazardly patching together sketchy and contradictory information that has allowed many high-risk terror suspects to go free, while low-risk or innocent detainees continue to be incarcerated.
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The documents indicate that in the case of many Guantanamo prisoners, the slapdash and fragmentary intelligence of their guilt was contradictory and would not have stood up in court or even under the lax evidentiary standards of kangaroo military tribunals. That’s why many of the prisoners are being detained indefinitely without any kind of trial.