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Kafka Would Be Proud

The BoGlo reports what we already know–many of the people at Gitmo who have been determined to not be a threat in status review hearings remain in Gitmo. And, at the same time, some people who have been released to their home country have not undergone review hearings.

About a quarter of detainees who were cleared to leave GuantanamoBay prison after hearings in 2005 and 2006 remain in custody, raisingquestions among inmates and their lawyers about the legitimacy of thesystem of hearings to review evidence against the prisoners.

The military’s failure torelease all of those who were cleared to leave – combined with the factthat dozens of other inmates who were not cleared have nonetheless beenreleased – has led many inmates and their lawyers to contend that thesystem is a sham, and that the real decisions are being made elsewhere.

Themilitary says most of the cleared inmates remain in custody because ofdifficulties in negotiating terms of their release to their homecountries. But officials also acknowledge that the hearings are not thefinal decision on an inmate’s fate, and that the Pentagon retains thepower to hold even those who have been cleared by the three-officerpanels who review the inmates’ cases.

For example, if you’re Saudi, they may send you home even if you haven’t been cleared.

While those detainees have languished, dozens of others have been senthome or declared eligible to leave even though they were not clearedthrough the hearings. Among a planeload of 14 Saudis sent home lastweek, only one appears to have been cleared through the hearings.

Twelve of the 14 detainees who were sent home failed to show up at their hearings last year.

And here’s the takeaway summary of where things stand.

Defense lawyers say they believe the review hearings are designed togive the impression of due process, while the real decisions are madethrough a separate process in which the foreign policy interests of theUnited States and other countries takes precedence over fairness to thedetainees. Therefore, they say, the detainees are being denied theirright to contest their detentions before an impartial decision maker,as the Supreme Court ordered in 2004.

I’m curious what Paul Clement will have to say about this state of affairs when he visits his friends at SCOTUS coming up. You think SCOTUS will be cross that the detainees have not gotten the reviews SCOTUS ordered?

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