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.”