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A federal judge has ordered the immediate release of five Algerian prisoners from the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. The men have been held there for nearly seven years and the ruling is an indictment of Bush administration policies that led it to sweep up innocent men along with hardened terrorists in the so-called war on terror. And this judge, Judge Richard Leon, is no liberal apologist for Al Qaeda. This is a judge appointed by President Bush. And the administration fully expected him to rule otherwise.
But a judge, whatever his political stripes, is still a judge. And this one rightly found that seven years of waiting for our legal system to charge anyone, even GITMO detainees, is enough. The justice department has not said whether it will appeal. But of course, a whole lot is about to change at justice with a new attorney general coming to town, and a president-elect who has vowed to close GITMO once and for all.
When he does, the camp will go down in history as a sad reminder of what happens when mistakes are made at the highest levels of our government, and no one has the courage to acknowledge it.
Editors note: See more of Jami’s posts at the In Session Blog.
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