Tuesday, March 07, 2006

 

A Victory For Al Qaeda

Lawfare

Last Friday, The Associated Press won a battle on behalf of al Qaeda:
After four years of secrecy, the Pentagon released documents on Friday that have the names of detainees at the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay.

The Bush administration had hidden the identities, home countries and other information about the men, who were accused of having links to the Taliban or Al Qaeda. But a federal judge rejected administration arguments that releasing the names would violate the detainees' privacy and could endanger them and their families. The release resulted from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press.
Judges should not be affecting our conduct of the war in this way; war and its conduct are matters for the elected branches.

Harold C. Hutchison comments:
The magnitude of this counter-intelligence coup is staggering considering some of the high-level al Qaeda personnel the United States is known to have in custody. The revelations forced by the Associated Press's FOIA request could be compared with the Japanese knowing about American code breaking efforts in 1942, or if Germany knew of the similar code-breaking efforts during the Battle of the Atlantic, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. This is knowledge that is crucial to the war on terrorism, and now al Qaeda knows the United States has that information. This will lead to counter-measures on the part of the terrorist group – and the United States will face increased vulnerability to attacks as a result.

The released names will also result in a flurry of lawfare – as media outlets and human rights groups begin to demand more information, while the human rights groups will also solicit plaintiffs – and have the threat of friendly judges that they can turn to.

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