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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guantánamo: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics By Andy Worthington

On January 22, in an executive order relating to the closure of Guantánamo, President Barack Obama established a comprehensive review of the cases of the remaining 242 prisoners, to work out who could be released and who should continue to be held. The executive order explained that the review was to be “conducted with the full cooperation and participation” of the Attorney General, the Secretaries of Defense, State and Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but in reality, it was expected that the lead would be taken by the Justice Department.

The most thoroughly discredited department in the Bush administration, the Justice Department is clearly in line for a major shake-up, as the new Attorney General, Eric Holder, explained in his acceptance speech on February 3, when he proclaimed his commitment to “remake the Department of Justice into what it was and what it must always be,” and explained, “This may be a break from the immediate past but it is consistent with the long history of the Department of Justice. I call on every employee of this Department — from this moment on — to return to the practices that are the foundation of this entity. It is time once again to base our actions on policies that are rooted in fairness and in a desire to ensure a more just America.”


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