Former State Department Official Says United States Knew Many Gitmo Prisoners were Innocent
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, writes in The Washington Note about “the utter incompetence of the battlefield vetting in Afghanistan” during the early days of U.S. operations there. “Simply stated, no meaningful attempt at discrimination was made in-country by competent officials, civilian or military, as to who we were transporting to Cuba for detention and interrogation.”
Having too few adequately trained troops and civilians, combined with pressure from then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others to “just get the bastards to the interrogators” meant lots of hasty abductions of the wrong people, many of whom were sent to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
Moreover, Wilkerson writes, “several in the U.S. leadership became aware of this lack of proper vetting very early on and, thus, of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released.”
Needless to say, the Bush administration didn’t do anything about it. Read Wilkerson’s full post here.