Pentagon to offer “parole”-style hearings for 71 Gitmo prisoners

posted at 6:01 pm on July 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The Pentagon will move forward with what amounts to the military version of a habeas corpus hearing with 71 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay naval base, according to alerts sent out late Friday to attorneys representing the war-on-terror inmates.  The Washington Post calls them “parole-board-style hearings,” but this looks more like an effort to determine just cause for confinement rather than the status of rehabilitation:

Seventy-one detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay will get parole-board-style hearings at the Navy base in Cuba, the Pentagon said Sunday, though it did not say when the panels will meet, whether the media can watch and which of the long-held inmates will go first. …

Retired Rear Adm. Norton C. Joerg, a senior Navy lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, told the lawyers that the new six-member “periodic review boards” will not decide whether the Pentagon is lawfully imprisoning their clients.

Rather, the panels will “assess whether continued law of war detention is necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States,” Joerg said.

The hearings themselves aren’t exactly a surprise.  As the Post notes, President Obama ordered them in March 2011, although hardly anyone gave it much weight.  Obama had promised to close the facility altogether, not just give “periodic reviews” of detainee status.  Even though this EO is entirely within Obama’s authority as Commander in Chief, the hearings have never taken place.

At least, they haven’t until now, or very soon, anyway, at least according to the notices provided to attorneys representing the detainees.  Oddly, the White House waited until late on a Friday to send out the notices and apparently didn’t do anything to alert the media.  Why now, and why so quietly?  Recent events are probably the catalyst:

He offered no explanation for the late-night notices, which came during a long-running hunger strike by prisoners at Guantanamo over the conditions of their detention.

Three days ago, the Pentagon wasn’t as shy about talking of the collapse of the hunger strike.  Criticized for force-feeding prisoners by human-rights groups, the Pentagon pointed to the return to normal meals of the prisoners as a sign of success for their strategy.  That was the same day that the letters went out to the attorneys, which suggests a negotiated end to the hunger strike — one that the White House wasn’t keen on publicizing, either.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Isn’t there deep water some where just off Puerto Rico.

Oil Can on July 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

According to all relevant legal precedent I’m sure

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Give them a suit and let them out the front gate.

davidk on July 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM

How many terrorists have we brainlessly released who then returned to the battlefield and killed more of our people?

This is insanity posing as civility.

(As noted in the headline thread about the prison break at Abu Ghraib:)

You gotta hang ‘em when you catch ‘em.

Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak made the same mistake when they captured Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

As Bush did with storing the terrorists at Gitmo.

Field tribunals and immediate executions for “spies, saboteurs, terrorists” and any other “Illegal combatants” you catch. (Or, after they’ve been sufficiently interrogated.)

Otherwise you risk having them escape (through legal -politically correct- lunacy or literally as in this case) and come back to kill more of your people.

We live in an era of spineless p.c. jellyfish in the West facing ruthless theocratic maniacs from Islam.

And we’re losing.

profitsbeard on July 22, 2013 at 5:47 PM

We are treating terrorists like criminals when they are illegal combatants.

It will not end well… for us.

profitsbeard on July 22, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Here’s what needs to be done. Load them all in a almost-mothballed Boeing 737 and take them over the Atlantic. The pilots then set the auto-pilot on a slow, controlled dive, while parachuting toward an awaiting ship off the coast of Florida.

Program the black box to report complete engine, fuel line failures.

Slam, bam, done.

TXUS on July 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Why?

Mimzey on July 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Why?

Mimzey on July 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

It’s just the compassionate thing to do. They have had years to reflect on being bad boys and as Father Flanigan once said “No such thing a bad boy.”

arnold ziffel on July 22, 2013 at 6:52 PM

He offered no explanation for the late-night notices, which came during a long-running hunger strike by prisoners at Guantanamo over the conditions of their detention.

Criticized for force-feeding prisoners by human-rights groups

The prisoner’s hunger strike would not have been “long-running” if the Pentagon hadn’t force-fed these adults who refused to eat.

Easy enough to kill two birds with one stone on this issue. Simply, stop the force-freeding and the hunger strike will end one way or another soon enough.

wren on July 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM

TXUS on July 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM

You’re worth less than a almost-mothballed Boeing 737

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Surrender on the battlefield and in the camps, surrender everywhere. We will reap that whirlwind.

PattyJ on July 22, 2013 at 7:16 PM

You’re worth less than a almost-mothballed Boeing 737

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2013 at 7:11 PM

I know, I need a TII (terrorist-insensivity intervention), no question about it.

TXUS on July 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I know, I need a TII (terrorist-insensivity intervention), no question about it.

TXUS on July 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I wouldn’t even suggest a long-term extralegal detention, but whatever cures ya

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Why are these murderers getting parole style hearings? Why aren’t they getting firing squad style executions?

paulsur on July 22, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Why are these murderers getting parole style hearings? Why aren’t they getting firing squad style executions?

paulsur on July 22, 2013 at 7:48 PM

How do you know they are murderers?

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Why are these murderers getting parole style hearings? Why aren’t they getting firing squad style executions?

paulsur on July 22, 2013 at 7:48 PM

There are those little steps… being charged and having a trial which were somehow overlooked when these guys were picked up in exchange for large cash payments to incorruptable Afghans.

lexhamfox on July 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM

40% of those released already have returned to the battlefield and are killing Americans, while our illustrous politicans sit safely in their congressional offices and condone this killing of our troops. I think it’s time we send the politicians to war and let our troops make the laws, it couldn’t be worst then what we have today.

savage24 on July 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM