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5 Guantanamo Detainees Ordered Freed

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Posted on Nov 21, 2008
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AP photo / Brennan Linsley

In yet another decision that chips away at the Bush administration’s withering theory of executive dominance, a federal judge ruled Thursday that the evidence presented against five Algerians—who have been in U.S. custody since 2001—was insufficient, freeing the detainees from the bowels of the prison at Guantanamo.

The New York Times:

A federal judge issued the Bush administration a sharp setback on Thursday, ruling that five Algerian men have been held unlawfully at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for nearly seven years and ordering their release.

It was the first hearing on the government’s evidence for holding detainees at Guantánamo. The judge, Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court in Washington, said the government’s secret evidence in the case had been weak: what he described as “a classified document from an unnamed source” for its central claim against the men, with little way to measure credibility.

“To rest on so thin a reed would be inconsistent with this court’s obligation,” Judge Leon said. He urged the government not to appeal and said the men should be released “forthwith.”

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By nefertiti, November 24, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

These Algerian guys Lived in Bosnia with their families and had kids Born in Bosnia , but their arrest apparently was based on rumours that they were planning to harm President bush , but there was no sufficient evidence to back that claim . Now the judge says they are free , but the US gov Has NOT freed them Yet .

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By Vadernooooo, November 22, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Free huh? I wont believe that till I see a picture of them leaving the horrid prison. Though at least this is hopefully a step in the right direction.

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By Ben, November 22, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What about some form of damages payment for being held in that hell hole for 7 years?  We just say ‘oops’ and send them packing?

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By Folktruther, November 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

This is the new American jurisprudence legitimated by media headlines.  The prisoners have been ‘freed’ except they will be held for more years if the govenment wants to.  And possibly tortured.

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