The "worst of the worst" are not all that bad
More good news today, with four Frenchmen released from Guantanamo Bay after 30 months in detention without charge or trial. The case illustrates the differences between the USA's hysterical anti-terror agenda and the deliberate, considered battle against terror in countries like France, where domestic terrorism has been a fact of life for some time.
Some of those being released are already wanted in France in connection with terrorism investigations led by anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere. Under French anti-terror laws, the returning citizens can be held for questioning for 96 hours, then they must be charged or released. For any ignorant Bush supporters, this is called "due process" and it has been safeguarding democracy for centuries.
The release of the Frenchmen prompted the BBC to look at what has happened to a few other detainees who have been released. Remember that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and many others publicly pre-judged these people as "bad guys" and even "the worst of the worst."
"The US has "transferred for continued detention" seven Russians, four Saudis and one Spaniard:
- all seven Russians were released without trial at the end of June after four months in custody
- it is unclear what, if any, legal action has been taken against the four Saudis since their repatriation in May 2003
- the Spanish authorities released Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed on bail on 13 July after four and a half months in custody, pending a possible trial on charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation. Bail was granted in view of Mr Ahmed's experiences in US custody
In March five of nine Britons held at Guantanamo were flown back to the UK. A day later they the British authorities released them without charge. "