There are new reasons every day. Today, it’s because they can’t find the defense requested witnesses for a military tribunal that reporters from the UK’s Guardian found IN THREE DAYS. Oh, and one of them teaches in Washington DC. (ht: SusanG of the kos)
The Guardian searched for Mr Mujahid’s witnesses and found them within three days. One was working for President Hamid Karzai. Another was teaching at a leading American college. The third was living in Kabul. The fourth, it turned out, was dead. Each witness said he had never been approached by the Americans to testify in Mr Mujahid’s hearing.
US forces arrested Mr Mujahid in the southern Afghan city of Gardez in mid-2003, claiming he had been fired as police chief due to suspicion of “collusion with anti-government forces”, according to official documents. Later, they alleged, he attacked US forces in retaliation.
In the military tribunal Mr Mujahid protested his innocence. He enjoyed good relations with American soldiers and had been promoted, not fired, he said. The three living witnesses he requested were easily located with a telephone, an internet connection and a few days work.
Shahzada Massoud was at the presidential palace, where he advises Mr Karzai on tribal affairs. Gul Haider, a former defence ministry official, was found through the local government in Gardez.
The interior ministry gave an email address for the former minister, Ahmed Ali Jalali, although he could as easily been found on the internet – he teaches at the National Defence University in Washington DC.
The witnesses largely corroborated Mr Mujahid’s story, with some qualifications. Mr Jalali, the former interior minister, said Mr Mujahid had been fired over allegations of corruption and bullying – not for attacking the government. Mr Haider, the former defence official, said Mr Mujahid had contributed 30 soldiers to a major operation against al-Qaida in March 2002. “He is completely innocent,” he said.
“Easily located” in three days. The whole way this government managed its military operations has been absolutely disgusting. Not sending enough troops to Afghanistan, giving sweetheart contracts with little stipulations governing the actions of private contractors, not sending the troops out with enough armor, cutting their health benefits, veteran benefits, and then compounding the problem by sending us into a costly unnecesary illegal immoral war we did not need to fight.
Now, we’ve thrown 500 people into a wretched excuse for a military prison and are torturing them. And, as my previous comments noted, we have no way of knowing if these people have actually done anything wrong. This government is so concerned about giving off the appearance of “fighting terrorists” that it’ll snap up whoever it can and parade them around as dangerous. If they had actually searched for Abdullah Mujahid’s witnesses, maybe they would’ve been able to have a fair trial of some kind. Maybe they would’ve been able to determine if he’s really dangerous or was just given up by someone who had a grudge or wanted a pay-off. But this particular Administration does not care about any of that justice or fairness, or due process stuff.