Saturday, June 21, 2008

Scalia fact-checked and debunked

Turns out that a statement Scalia made in his dissenting opinion of the Boumediene decision is his perpetuation of an all-out lie (some call it an "urban legend"), namely this: “ least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantanamo Bay have returned to the battlefield.”

A new report (.pdf) by the Seton Hall University School of Law states that Scalia's statement is "belied by all reliable data." Scalia got his information from a year-old Senate Minority Report, which in turn got its data from misinformation provided by the Pentagon (gee, no surprise there). Even the Pentagon later sent out a press release stating that the information was wrong, and the House Foreign Relations Committee held hearings on the matter two weeks before the Boumediene decision was released. But these developments didn't reach Scalia, apparently. Who needs truth when there's an agenda to push?

The Seton Hall report concludes that:
  1. According to the Department of Defense’s published and unpublished data and reports, not a single released Guantánamo detainee has ever attacked any Americans.
  2. Despite national security concerns, the Department of Defense does not have a system for tracking the conduct or even the whereabouts of released detainees.
(Emphasis not mine)

Of course, it's a widely held opinion on both sides of this issue that, for young Muslims around the world, Guantanamo has had a radicalizing effect. Further, there has been no major conviction of a single detainee since the camp was created. And now, the courts have ordered the Bush administration to abide by habeas corpus rules when charging detainees.

No comments: