Focus on Detention

by Larry Tate on January 25, 2009

The Obama administration has made a rather disturbing discovery about Guantanamo Bay. The Washington Post writes today that there are “no comprehensive case files” on the remaining 245 detainees. Instead, they discovered

that information on individual prisoners is “scattered throughout the executive branch,” a senior administration official said. The executive order Obama signed Thursday orders the prison closed within one year, and a Cabinet-level panel named to review each case separately will have to spend its initial weeks and perhaps months scouring the corners of the federal government in search of relevant material.

Several former Bush administration officials agreed that the files are incomplete and that no single government entity was charged with pulling together all the facts and the range of options for each prisoner. They said that the CIA and other intelligence agencies were reluctant to share information, and that the Bush administration’s focus on detention and interrogation made preparation of viable prosecutions a far lower priority.

Go back and read that last paragraph again.

For the past 6 years the Bush administration has focused all its efforts on detention and interrogation. If there is a more succinct definition of “kafkaesque” I don’t know of it.

Evidence? Rule of law? Legal procedure? Prosecution? Sorry, can’t be bothered — too busy detainin’ and interrogatin’.

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