Court Order To Release Controversial Yemeni Snitch Could Cause More Problems at Gitmo

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009 at 9:13 am

A Guantanamo Bay detainee who The Washington Post recently outed as a widely used but unreliable informant on his fellow prisoners won a court order for his release on Monday.

“In dozens of interviews over several years at the U.S. military prison — where he was rewarded with his own cell, McDonald’s apple pies, chewing tobacco, a truck magazine and other “comfort items” — Yasim Muhammed Basardah provided the evidence needed to continue detaining scores of alleged terrorists, military and FBI records show,” The Post’s Del Quentin Wilbur wrote in February.

But “military officials have expressed reservations about the credibility of their star witness since 2004,” the article continued. Those worries intensified when in January, a federal judge ordered another prisoner freed, saying Basardah’s testimony was not sufficiently reliable to justify the man’s confinement. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, based on secret evidence presented in closed-door hearings, granted the habeas corpus petition of the 33-year-old Basardah.

According to The Post story, during a military hearing, Basardah said: “I am cooperative to the point where my cooperation with everyone has led many people threatening my life … therefore I cannot go back to my own country … They will not hesitate to kill me or anyone in my family.”

Because of that, and perhaps also because Basardah is from Yemen — to which, as I wrote on Monday, the government is having serious trouble returning prisoners — it’s not clear when Basardah will actually get to leave the Guantanamo prison, despite yesterday’s court order.

But some lawyers for detainees on Monday were predicting that Basardah’s release could spark widespread anger among the detainees who have not been cleared to go — some because of testimony provided by Basardah against them.

“The men will be outraged when they learn that Basardah has been ordered released,” David Remes, the executive director of Appeal for Justice who is representing 15 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo, told me yesterday just after learning about the order.

“First, the government released Salim Hamdan, who was convicted of aiding terrorism,” explained Remes in a follow-up e-mail. “Then, it released Binyam Mohammed, who was charged with terrorism-related crimes. Then, it orders the release of [Ayman Saeed] Batarfi, who was accused of heading an organization on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups. And now, they order the release of Basardah, who is reputed to have falsely implicated scores of men.”

Remes worries that the order to release Basardah — even if he doesn’t actually get to leave just yet — could cause more dissension and unrest among the remaining prisoners.

“It was Hamdan’s release in November that sparked the current wave of hunger strikes,” said Remes. “With the new order to release Basardah, the number of prisoners on hunger strikes will likely explode.”

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Comments

11 Comments

Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government | Andy Worthington
Pingback posted May 18, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

[...] two Yemenis (Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, whose case was comprehensively demolished two weeks ago, and Yasim Basardah, whose release was ordered six weeks ago), and, most controversially of all, 17 Uighurs, Muslims [...]


FAIR article: Dangerous Revisionism Over Guantánamo | Andy Worthington
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

[...] and making false confessions, it was noticeable, when a judge cleared this particular prisoner for release from Guantánamo at the end of March, that there was no hint, from either the Pentagon or the Justice Department, [...]


Guantánamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Want, But You Can Never Leave | Andy Worthington
Pingback posted August 3, 2009 @ 11:52 am

[...] in the case of Ali Ahmed, and two other Yemeni prisoners — Yasim Basardah, whose habeas petition was granted in March, and Ayman Batarfi, a doctor whose release was approved [...]


Andy Worthington: Guantanamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave | My 2 Cents Worth
Pingback posted August 3, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

[...] in the case of Ali Ahmed, and two other Yemeni prisoners — Yasim Basardah, whose habeas petition was granted in March, and Ayman Batarfi, a doctor whose release was approved [...]


Guantánamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave « Dandelion Salad
Pingback posted August 3, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

[...] in the case of Ali Ahmed, and two other Yemeni prisoners — Yasim Basardah, whose habeas petition was granted in March, and Ayman Batarfi, a doctor whose release was approved [...]


What Does It Take To Get Out Of Obama’s Guantánamo? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad
Pingback posted December 15, 2009 @ 12:20 am

[...] began this September. On the government’s side, only one appeal has been mounted — against the successful habeas petition in March of Yasim Basardah, another Yemeni and a well-known and contentious informer within [...]


Militant Libertarian » What Does It Take to Get Out of Obama’s Guantánamo?
Pingback posted December 15, 2009 @ 9:48 am

[...] side, only one appeal has been mounted — against the successful habeas petition in March of Yasim Basardah, another Yemeni and a well-known and contentious informer within Guantánamo. The stumbling [...]


What Does It Take to Get Out of Obama’s Guantanamo? « Norcaltruth
Pingback posted December 19, 2009 @ 6:36 am

[...] side, only one appeal has been mounted — against the successful habeas petition in March of Yasim Basardah, another Yemeni and a well-known and contentious informer within Guantánamo. The stumbling [...]


What Does It Take to Get Out of Obama’s Guantanamo?
Pingback posted January 5, 2010 @ 5:17 am

[...] side, only one appeal has been mounted — against the successful habeas petition in March of Yasim Basardah, another Yemeni and a well-known and contentious informer within Guantánamo. The stumbling [...]


The Last Enemy – Minisérie Adicionado Ep 04 | The Pacific Blog
Pingback posted August 23, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

[...] Court Order To Release Controversial Yemeni Snitch Could Cause … [...]


Andy Worthington: Guantanamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave | BlackNewsTribune.com
Pingback posted January 2, 2011 @ 4:00 am

[...] in the case of Ali Ahmed, and two other Yemeni prisoners — Yasim Basardah, whose habeas petition was granted in March, and Ayman Batarfi, a doctor whose release was approved [...]


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