Dead Gitmo Detainee Cleared for Release Three Years Ago
Just another day in America’s own gulag:
A special Obama administration task force review found in 2009 that Latif, who had been held at Gitmo since early 2002 and had waged a long legal battle for his freedom, could be released, a conclusion that could only be reached by a unanimous vote of all U.S. intelligence agencies.
That finding was buttressed a year later when U.S. Judge Henry Kennedy ruled that the U.S. government’s initial evidence that Latif had links to al-Qaida and the Taliban was “unconvincing.” Despite both findings, the Obama administration appealed the ruling — because it did not want to return him to Yemen, a country it viewed as too unstable.
Latif’s death is the ninth at Gitmo since the U.S. prison for terrorists opened in January 2002 and the third since last year. The case is now the subject of an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Military officials say that Latif, who had no serious medical problems, was found unconscious and unresponsive in his cell at Camp 5 on Saturday afternoon. After efforts to revive him failed, he was rushed to a hospital at the base and pronounced dead. An autopsy was conducted on Sunday, but the results have not yet been released.
David Remes, Latif’s attorney, has the money quote: “The only detainees who have been released from Gitmo in the last two years have been in caskets.”
Mark my words, fifty years from now, Gitmo will be a the top of the list of things the Texas Board of Education wants banned from students’ history books.