Gitmo and recidivism…worst of the worst…and Scalia uses it.

by rdan

The Seton Hall Law Center for Policy Research reported on:

On December 10, 2007 The Seton Hall Center for Policy and Research issued a Report,THE MEANING OF “BATTLEFIELD”: An Analysis of the Government’s Representations of‘Battlefield Capture’ and ‘Recidivism’ of the Guantánamo Detainees, which demonstrated thatstatements asserting 30 detainees had returned to the battlefield were incorrect.

Furtherdevelopments since then, including recent hearings before Congress at which more informationwas provided by the Department of Defense, confirm that the 30 recidivist claim is simplywrong and has no place in a reasoned public debate about Guantánamo.

This Report concludes the following:

• At most 12, not 30, detainees “returned to the fight.”

• Of these 12, it is by no means clear that all are properly characterized as havingbeen so engaged since their release.

• According to the Department of Defense’s published and unpublished data not asingle detainee was ever released by a court. Moreover, every released detaineewas released by political appointees of the Department of Defense, sometimesover the objection of the military.

• According to the Department of Defense’s published and unpublished data andreports, not a single released Guantánamo detainee has ever attacked anyAmericans.

• The Department of Defense’s statements regarding recidivism are inconsistentwith each other and often contradictory.

• This may be because, despite the importance of detainee recidivism, theDepartment of Defense’s sources of information are media reports.

• Despite national security concerns, the Department of Defense does not have asystem for tracking the conduct or even the whereabouts of released detainees.

• The only indisputable detainee who took up arms against the United States or itsallies was ISN 220.

The DOD report in testimony to Congress was May 8, 2008, that abandoned the claim entirely. (Will link when I find it) There are still three children in custody….who are older now by six years.

Justice Scalia in his dissent used an old news report from July 2007 claiming 30 had re-entered the battlefield, but was retracted in a later press release, as reported by Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild here. Another myth bites the dust, many more to come.

Update: Possibly another court decision will be significant as reported in the The NYT

Update 2: Another point is this from the report:

However, one of the greatest ironies of the whole recidivism debate is thatnot a single detainee has been released as a result of habeas corpus. All recidivists have been released by the Department of Defense, which has never explained why it released such individuals to “return to waging war” against us. Any assessment of the relative strengths of judicial and political processes should be made with full awareness of the story of ISN 220, who(7,8)“returned to the fight” not as the result of any judicial ruling but rather because of a decision
made by the political appointees at the Department of Defense who released him despite the objections of the military.

There are those pesky political appointees in every department.