Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Can of Worms

Obama's decision to close Gitmo is sure to open a legal can of worms.

In a small room at Guantanamo Bay, plain white except for an American flag hung on the wall, Abdul al Rahman al Zahri sat shackled in front of three military officers at a hearing to determine whether he continued to pose a threat to the United States and its allies.

Zahri, a Yemeni captured in Afghanistan in 2001, was clear on that point. “I do pose a threat to the United States and its allies,” he said, according to a transcript of the 2006 hearing. “I admit to you it’s my honor to be an enemy of the United States. I am a Muslim jihadist, and I’m defending my family and my honor.”

And then we move on to this-

Zahri said he heard the call to jihad outside a mosque in Yemen in early 2001, and he decided to go to Afghanistan as a trainee to eventually fight Russian forces in Chechnya, according to military documents. Within a week, he met bin Laden at an al-Qaida guesthouse, one of 10 meetings that military officials allege he had with terrorist leaders.

“The detainee stated he attended a meeting prior to 11 September 2001 in which an upcoming operation was discussed,” according to military documents.

Zahri went to the front lines in Afghanistan to fight the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance, where he was wounded, captured and eventually sent to Guantanamo. But despite his statements and some potential evidence — he was captured with a bag of various currencies and passports from several countries — some legal experts say it may be difficult for the United States to bring charges against him under the law as it stood in 2001.

One thing seems certain- the "rights" of these terrorists will most likely win out over the rights of their potential victims and the security of the USA and its allies.

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