Seton Hall University’s School of Law has compiled – from official US government documents – an astonishing overview of who is actually detained at Guantanamo Bay.

  • Only 5% of the detainees were captured by United States forces. 86% of the detainees were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to United States custody.
  • This 86% of the detainees captured by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance were handed over to the United States at a time in which the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected enemies.
  • 55% of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.
  • Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% have no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.
  • The Government has detained numerous persons based on mere affiliations with a large number of groups that are, in fact, not on the Department of Homeland Security?s terrorist watchlist. Moreover, the nexus between such a detainee and such organizations varies considerably.

The ACLU’s take:

The abuse of prisoners and their inability to challenge their detention is a stain on America?s legacy of liberty and justice for all. It is not too late for Americans and their representatives to right the wrongs that have been committed and finally confront this inconvenient truth.

I know the wingnuts love to attack the ACLU as somehow “un-American”, but really – what could possibly be more un-American than detaining innocent people without legal recourse? It goes against every tenet of Western legal structures. And as the data clearly shows, a huge number of these people never belonged in detention in the first place.

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