Since the prison opened in 2002, 779 prisoners have been held; 644 released or transferred; and 122 remain (I'm not quite sure how that math computes, but it is the assertion of the linked site). The charges against the prisoners have and continue to vary, but almost invariably, what was frightening and heinous about the original charges has turned to dust the moment any particular case came anywhere near courtroom adjudication. The prosecutorial authority has been unwilling in many cases to reveal its sources or the bases for the original oh-so-awful allegations. This seems to be the best that the U.S. can muster -- heartfelt, righteous, frightening blither unsubstantiated by the facts required by any decent legal system. The U.S. is reduced to saying what it is against instead of proving what it is for.
Today, on National Public Radio, there is a good report on one egregiously long and unfocused trial proceeding. It makes clear what is true in the whole mishegas -- that Nero (the U.S.) fiddles, Rome, in the person of flesh and blood men, burns. Here is the lead to the NPR story:
This Sunday marks a dozen years since Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Pakistan — and seven years since Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann announced formal charges against him, alleging Mohammed was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.Ever since, the United States has been working to try him and four other men on death penalty charges at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Now, one of the biggest cases in U.S. history may also become the longest. And it could be years before what's being called the "forever trial" even reaches the trial stage.
Do individuals, even with the bloodiest of intentions, deserve to be imprisoned, kept from the homes and families or any semblance of a "free" lifestyle. Dick Cheney and other exceptionalist neo-conservatives might argue that they do deserve it. But the question remains as to whether the U.S. deserves Dick Cheney et al.