Skip to comments.Bush Official: We Knew Gitmo Inmates Were Innocent
Posted on 04/09/2010 6:01:07 AM PDT by autumnraine
The Bush White House knew that hundreds of early Gitmo detainees were innocent, but refused to release them because the admission would weaken support for the war in Iraq, according to a new document obtained by the Times of London. The charge, by Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, was made in a declaration in support of a lawsuit for a Gitmo detainee. Wilkerson claims that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees had been picked up, not by the US military, but by Afghans and Pakistanis for a bounty, and there was no evidence against them. But they saw it as "politically impossible to release them."
If innocent detainees were released, he writes, the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were. Of Cheney, he writes: He had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent. If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it. Wilkerson also says he discussed the issue with Powell, who told him it was not just Cheney and Rumsfeld, "but also President Bush who was involved in all of the Guantánamo decision making.
I’m suspicious of anyone who worked for Colin Powell.
Is this story true?
I’m sure that Semi-Colon Powell’s lackey would call it straight, yes sir.
What a load of crap! Innocent of what?
More BS for you as you drink your AM coffee.
It seems hundreds have been released already. We’ve only kept the ones that are really considered dangerous or war criminals. So I don’t see how this is even a major story...just some blow hard making noise because he wants to write a book.
All the Americans who died on 9/11 were innocent, and the Muslim world celebrated. So I don’t really give a damn.
Its another Wilkerson fabrication to sell books.
Yep, you nail it ... Colin Powell gives it away.
Innocent or not, the Geneva Convention allows retention of all POWs until war’s end.
....someone left a bs generator on overnight
Wilkerson is a liar. It’s just that simple.
I agree. This does not pass the smell test. My 'beeber' is going off.
That is like blaming someone for not knowing what is in their neighbors refrigerator.
If all of the Gitmo detainess were captured while on the battlefield, how could any of them be innocent? Perhaps one or two of them were delivering pizza and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time... BS!
Someone can give some background on Wilkerson ? Sounds like a traitor to me.
Hmmmm...why do I suspect that this information is NOT accurate?
What does “innocent” mean in this context? Does it mean they were not active combatants against our military? They may very well have been taliban members that Afghanis and Pakistanis wished to be rid of.
Either way, I agree with the decision.
I call BS on this one. Another Leftist elbow at the ribs of the Bush Administration IMO.
Anybody that worked for Colin Powell should be arrested and sent to Gitmo, as should his Chief A$$-Hat, Powell himself.
They only celebrated because we were arrogant; The One told me so.
I guess all those Nazi’s the French underground picked up and turned over to Americans as POW’s were wrongly detained also since there was zero evidence on them plus they were rewarded for turning over prisoners.
Heck, those wily French underground commanders could have just picked up any German and told him to put a Nazi uniform on or be shot.....
“Minority Report” - We just captured them BEFORE they had time to become guilty. Yeah, that’s the ticket...
Does not sound at all in character with George Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge or other honorable men we used to have in office or
I call BS on this one. And yes, the Colin Powell staff connection is not impressive.
Wilkerson is at least 3 levels away from the vice president. There is no way he knew what Cheney did or did not know. When I was in a large organization, the guy 3 levels above me hardly knew my name, let alone have frequent conversations with me. There was no way I would have known what his thoughts, unless the entire organization knew it.
A reality check here shows Wilkerson is nuts.
I never did trust Colon Bowel!
A comment from the original cited article, conveniently left out by Newser:
“A former associate to Mr Rumsfeld said that Mr Wilkerson’s assertions were completely untrue.”
Gitmo is not a penal institution but a detention facility. This means it's a place to put people until a matter is sorted out, and if someone is turned in for a bounty in a war zone that's pretty decent reason to detain them.
BTW, there are innocent people -- U.S. citizens no less -- who are detained every year in jails in every county in this country.
It took several years of discussiosn and legal explorations and twisting to even deternmione whether these guys (and who among them) had rights under the Geneva Convention, since they were not identifiable military members in uniform fighting for a nation at war in a declared war
minor points (sarc)
you could have left out your left paragraph, not that it’s untrue but it looks like a lame excuse.
The absurdity of this allegation is beyond clueless. HOW exactly would Cheney or anyone else KNOW that the suspected terrorist were in fact, "innocent?"
It did become known later that a goodly number were not directly captured but were seized for a bounty. While it would be expected that the high-ups knew from the start HOW the captures were made, these folks are going on to hold that kind of capture as synonymous with known to be innocent.
This man has a head full of conspiracy theories about “neocons” and the “Bush Administration”. He’s unethical and opens his mouth only when he believes it will enhance his standing. This is nothing new.
It’s reality. If you are going to bitch about detaining innocent people at Gitmo you may as well bitch at the county sheriff as well.
There are agencies that do this. Your implication that the critics are inactive in this matter are far off the mark.
If you capture people on the battlefield they are POWs. And yes it does accommodate non-State actors.
I agree, Bush needlessly mulled it around, mashed it up, and it came out almost meaningless. He should have just stated it’s a war, and these are POWs.
It’s only in hindsight you figure out how bad Bush was.
Wilkerson has a history of this. He just found a new place to dump his same old lies.
As the democrats would say “this is old news”.
I was just thinking the same thing. War is messy business.
Colin Powell gave his support to a transparent enemy to the values of this great country, all because he happened to be black.
Former glory does not forgive present sin.
God Bless you, Mr. Powell for your service to this country while in uniform, but damn you to Hell for selling it out in the name of racialism and personal gain...
You sound like you are changing your story.
I would think if it wasn’t, that guy would be opening himself up to a lot of crap.
The specific charges?
Time to gin up the anti Bush meme again!
You sound like you are reading things into my original statement that weren't there.
Since this article was alleging that the Gitmo prisoners really didn’t belong, the parallel to the mistakenly convicted is obvious. Those in Gitmo didn’t even get the right to go before a court until several years afterwards.
What, exactly, is Wilkerson trying to prove? That he can suck up to leftists? He was a State Department worker. He knew little, if anything, of what was going on in the Vice President’s office or in the Secretary’s office. What is his statement based on, other than rumor and conjecture? What does he have to back up his story?
As for General Powell, I personally don’t think he has anything to do with Wilkerson’s gabfest, and couldn’t stop him if he wanted to.
But it didn't on 9-11. After 911 there was a period of years when the Geneva Convention status of these people was in limbo and outside of Geneva Comvention language (and intent, frankly)-
and you can still see that they well understand the Geneva Convention rules, by the way they operate, who and what and how they kill, the way they treat civilians and the way they treat our soldiers when they capture them
I can remember discussing Geneva Convention rules to a class of foreign military officers- the Ethiopian (Mengistu army man) stands out in my mind, He was completely bored and unimpressed. “If I catch my enemy I will kill him, if he catches me, he will kill me”
And no, you don't get Geneva Convention protection if you are captured in civilian clothes without any military ID on a “battlefield” (would that “battlefield” be a blown up marketplace, apartment complex, school, or police station occupied by civilians?) ... ask any American why the MUST as a minimum carry ID identifying themselves as a member of the US military, or what the risks are if they do not