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Gitmo Part II...and America's "man" in Egypt

Glenn Greenwald, on Salon, comments on the recent death of the Gitmo inmate [see yesterday's post on MPS] and makes an cogent observation about the man the Americans are championing to take over from Mubarak in Egypt.

"This episode also demonstrates the absurdity of those who claim that President Obama has been oh-so-eagerly trying to close Guantanamo only to be thwarted by a recalcitrant Congress. The Obama administration has sought to "close" the camp only in the most meaningless sense of that word: by moving its defining injustice -- indefinite, due-process-free detention -- a few thousand miles north onto U.S. soil. But the crux of the Guantanamo travesty -- indefinite detention -- is something the Obama administration has long planned to preserve, and that has nothing to do with what Congress has or has not done. Indeed, Gul was one of the 50 detainees designated by Obama for that repressive measure. Thus, had Gul survived, the Obama administration would have sought to keep him imprisoned indefinitely without any pretense of charging him with a crime -- neither in a military commission nor a real court. Instead, they would have simply continued the Bush/Cheney policy of imprisoning him indefinitely without any charges.

There's one other aspect of this episode that warrants attention. In its 2008 Boumediene decision, the Supreme Court struck down the provision of the Military Commissions Act which denied habeas corpus review to all detainees, and ruled that Guantanamo detainees at least have the right to a one-time review by a federal court as to whether there is credible evidence to justify their detention (a far less rigorous standard than the one that applies if they're charged with a crime and the state has to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt). Gul had filed a habeas petition and it was fully argued before a federal court back in March -- 11 months ago. The federal judge never got around to issuing a ruling."

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"All of this finds a nice symbolic parallel in the Obama administration's apparent efforts to install Omar Suleiman as interim Egyptian leader; Suleiman is not only steadfastly pro-American and pro-Israeli, but was long the U.S.'s point man for renditions and the severe torture which accompanied it. This is what is meant when we hear repeatedly about what a stalwart "ally" the Mubarak government been in the "War on Terror": they've dutifully detained and brutalized anyone we wanted."

Mother Jones also has some less than flattering things to say about the man the Americans want to have to replace Mubarak.

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