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WikiLeaks Releases Guantanamo Prisoner Files 426

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-start-this-debate-again dept.
HungryHobo writes with news that WikiLeaks has started to release a collection of 779 files involving the detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. "The details for every detainee will be released daily over the coming month. ... In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the prisoners held at Guantánamo — 758 out of 779 in total — are described in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida. These memoranda, which contain JTF-GTMO's recommendations about whether the prisoners in question should continue to be held, or should be released (transferred to their home governments, or to other governments) contain a wealth of important and previously undisclosed information, including health assessments, for example, and, in the cases of the majority of the 171 prisoners who are still held, photos (mostly for the first time ever)." Reader rrayst notes that according to one such document, if you use a Casio F-91W wristwatch, you might be a member of al-Qaida.
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WikiLeaks Releases Guantanamo Prisoner Files

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  • by Black Art (3335) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:28PM (#35933346)

    Well now I know what to give for Christmas...

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:30PM (#35933374) Journal

      "Don't be silly Bob. Of course I don't hold giving the promotion to Dick against you. Just to show you there's no hard feelings, here's a Casio watch. That's right, just stand by the window over there."

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Anyone else think of donating one to each of the whitehouse staff? They might appreciate the thought...

      From http://www.whitehouse.gov/thank-you [whitehouse.gov]:

      For security reasons, please do not send perishable gifts -- such as food, liquids or flowers -- to the White House. The White House is unable to accept cash, checks, bonds, gift certificates, foreign currency, or other monetary equivalents. Additionally, items sent to the White House are often significantly delayed and can be irreparably harmed during the security screening process. Therefore, please do not send items of personal importance, such as family photographs, because items may not be returned.

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:40PM (#35933536)

      If you read the article:

      "The Casio was known to be given to the students at al-Qaida bomb-making training courses in Afghanistan at which the students received instruction in the preparation of timing devices using the watch.

      "Approximately one-third of the JTF-GTMO detainees that were captured with these models of watches have known connections to explosives, either having attended explosives training, having association with a facility where IEDs were made or where explosives training was given, or having association with a person identified as an explosives expert."

      More than 50 detainee reports refer to the Casio timepieces. The records of 32 detainees refer to the black Casio F-91W, while a further 20 make reference to the silver version, the A-159W.

      It's not silly at all. But it's not the reason they arrested them either.

      • The silliness enters the picture when you consider how many non-terrorists own such watches, not when you just look at all the suspected or actual terrorists who do.

        Pretty much any watch with reasonably user-accessible alarm buzzer drive leads and adequate timer features is a potential bomb trigger. The techniques for each would differ mostly in pinout, and wouldn't strike a competent electronics hobbyist as anything special. Why chose those Casios? Because they are dirt cheap, ubiquitous, and have reaso
        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          The silliness enters the picture when you consider how many non-terrorists own such watches, not when you just look at all the suspected or actual terrorists who do.

          How many people running around Afghanistan wear digital watches, much less this particular model? If it's very common in the region, I would agree. But I honestly don't know.

          Pretty much any watch with reasonably user-accessible alarm buzzer drive leads and adequate timer features is a potential bomb trigger. The techniques for each would differ mostly in pinout, and wouldn't strike a competent electronics hobbyist as anything special. Why chose those Casios? Because they are dirt cheap, ubiquitous, and have reasonably robust timer features.

          But we're not talking about electronics hobbyists here. We're talking about a course in bomb making; Step A, then Step B, etc.

          • by Gorath99 (746654) on Monday April 25, 2011 @05:30PM (#35934932)

            The silliness enters the picture when you consider how many non-terrorists own such watches, not when you just look at all the suspected or actual terrorists who do.

            How many people running around Afghanistan wear digital watches, much less this particular model? If it's very common in the region, I would agree. But I honestly don't know.

            I remember seeing these in many stores in The Netherlands in the '90s. Owned one myself. In many ways it's a better watch than the fancy Swiss one I've got now. Very reliable, user-friendly, incredibly long battery life (people report 8+ years; I know I never had to change the battery in mine), and dirt cheap to boot ($8 on the web). I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's still popular in places like Afghanistan. If it wasn't so ugly I'd still be wearing mine.

      • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:18PM (#35933994)

        By that logic:

        "The skin pigmentation was known to be consistent to the students at an al-Qaida bomb-making training course in Afghanistan."

        "Approximately 3/4 of the JTF-GTMO detainees that were captured being brown have known connections to explosives, either having attended explosives training, having an association with a facility where IEDs were made or where explosives training was given, or having association with a person identified as an explosives expert"

        "More than 50 detainees appear to be brown. The skin pigmentation of 32 detainees appear to be "Mexicanish", while a further 20 appear to be "Almost Italian".

        Not silly at all.... Except there are a whole hell of a lot of brown people. And equally a whole hell of a lot of people with these watches. Hell It looks to be very similar to the first watch I ever got around when I was 10. Not to mention if I started making decisions on 33% accuracy, I'd get fired.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This 5-star review from Amazon doesn't help:

        5.0 out of 5 stars This watch is the bomb!
        This is the most reliable watch I've ever owned. I buy them all the time!
        Published 11 months ago by K. Aubuchon

        And if they're so reliable, why do you need so many of them?

    • by trb (8509)
      boingboing advocated this watch [boingboing.net] last december. it wasn't until I bought one and googled for the product manual that I found out that it was an al-qaeda favorite. [wikipedia.org]
    • by ledow (319597) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:50PM (#35934466) Homepage

      I have that watch. In fact, it's the only type of watch that I've bought since I was a kid. I've had others given to me but always use that EXACT model. The only thing that goes wrong with them is the strap and they are cheap enough to throw away and replace.

      I've *never* had a problem buying that model, in the last, what, 15-20 years? It's always the cheapest digital watch available in any high-street store (i.e. not cheapy 50p kiddies things).

      - It has a digital display.
      - It's waterproof. I regularly go swimming with one without even thinking about it any more.
      - I've never had to replace a battery in one (even the strapless ones I kept are still going).
      - It has a cheap standard battery if I ever do.
      - It shows date, day and time on a single display without pressing anything.
      - It has alarm and stopwatch if you need it.
      - You can turn all the stupid bleeps and bloops off.
      - It has a light that's powerful enough to see the display perfectly in complete darkness (later models have an "electroluminscence" display that's even better) and doesn't run your batteries down even with every-day use over a long period and also to semi-illuminate other things in an emergency (I have read an entire novel by that light!)
      - It keeps good time and is easy to change when timezones changes

      Gimme an MSF (radio-sync) version, with electroluminesence and a decent strap and I'll give you a hefty sum and never have to buy another watch again!.

      But as a terrorist marker? Not unless you can trace back that watch's serial number to a particular batch - you can buy it EVERYWHERE, even abroad, without any hassle at all. And I don't even think they *have* serial numbers (I've never seen one). It's like saying all the terrorists were wearing shoes. Equally as true. Equally as useless as a marker.

      • by savuporo (658486)
        Soo .. you are the part of the population that thinks that digital watches are a pretty neat idea ?
  • GITMO still open? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShavedOrangutan (1930630) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:30PM (#35933392)
    Where's all that Hope and Change?
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:32PM (#35933406) Journal

      In the trash can next to habeus corpus and the presumption of innocence.

    • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:33PM (#35933432)
      Like the cake it too was a lie.
    • by Rei (128717) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:38PM (#35933520) Homepage

      Awaiting congress to overturn the line in the last defense spending bill which prohibited the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the US courts system. Of course, even without that, all of the evidence against the key detainees is irrevocably tainted by torture and other factors.

      • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@p10MENCKENlink.net minus author> on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:02PM (#35933816) Homepage

        Of course, even without that, all of the evidence against the key detainees is irrevocably tainted by torture and other factors.

        BINGO Afaict there is no way to give these detainees a fair and effective trial. So the choice essentially comes down to either releasing them, convicting them in a show trial or continuing to detain them without trial. None of which are very attractive options.

        There is also the side problem that even if they weren't enemies of the USA to begin with they are very likely to have become enemies of the USA after experiancing gitmo.

        • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:40PM (#35934318)

          What?
          You let them go. Plain and simple, if you have no admissible evidence that is the rule. There is no choice involved.

          As to your side problem, maybe someone should have thought of that before kidnapping and torturing them?

        • by rpillala (583965) on Monday April 25, 2011 @06:59PM (#35935932)

          As unattractive as those options are, only one of them is legal. Part of having a constitutional government with elected leaders is that the law supersedes anyone's desires to the contrary. If the founders had wanted the president to have the powers of royalty they would have written them in. Or left room for them. This is explicitly not the case. What else can we call detaining people in an extralegal prison based purely on the say-so of the President or forces under his command? This is one branch of government playing the role of two branches, and violates the checks and balances fundamental to the system. As another poster points out, the military base at Guantanamo Bay is not part of the criminal justice system.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kyusaku Natsume (1098)

          I think that the last problem could be addressed by a really big public apology by the heads of the tree branches of USA's government, the heads of the Army, Navy an Air Force,a big enough monetary compensation to the inmates and their families and proper punishment to the bastards that jailed and tortured innocent men, along the same punishment that they would have received if they had detained and tortured a beautiful, popular blonde american girl.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:36PM (#35934266) Journal

        That's a bullshit excuse. The President is sworn to uphold the constitution. When Congress passes an unconstitutional law, the President has to challenge it. Obama has done no such thing.

        Also, there are other ways to close Guantanamo. He's forbidden from using budgeted funds to close Guantanamo. So, lets have a bake sale. If Obama asked for donations to go towards closing Guantanamo I'd gladly pony up $100. I bet there are a few tens of thousands of freedom loving Americans who would do the same. But Obama hasn't tried anything, so it's hard to look at this as anything but an excuse.

        Also, it's worth pointing out that Obama's Justice Department hasn't indicted anyone for torture. Not one. He can't blame that on Congress. Obama condones torture.

        In every way shape and form Obama has failed to deliver on his promises of change. He has no one to blame for this but himself.

    • No, I'm serious. I just can't make sense of that. At this point everybody hates Gitmo. Obama could score major points across the board by closing it with a flourish and be done with it. Judge and jail the guys and look tough on Terrism, or just ship them back to wherever they came from and close the joint with a few vibrant words about saving America's money. Mishun accumplisht. Easy reelection credit! A politician's dream.

      So why the hell doesn't he?

      Something's missing from the picture, and I can't tell wha

      • Yeah pretty scary that ordinary posters on forums can come up with an "obvious" political move. Therefore, the reasons which made it Not-Obviously Bad are terr...uh... frightening.

        I shall borrow your last line as my sig. Unless you screech "copyright" at which point I'll return it to your library.

    • Re:GITMO still open? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ShavedOrangutan (1930630) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:07PM (#35933898)

      Where's all that Hope and Change?

      Alright, that went to Score 0: Flamebait in five minutes. How about this:

      It's Bush's fault!

    • This criticism is sound only if it comes either from the far left - for whom Obama was, barely, the lesser of two evils - or the anti-war right (American Conservative magazine, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul - sort of - etc), who were fighting the Bush administration every step of the way. Obama is guilty for having failed to disassemble Gitmo and for carrying on the obsession with "global security" (we used to be interested in *defense.* Now we're interested in "security." See a problem here?)

      But when that charge

    • What do you mean? Gitmo is closed down. He promised he would during the campaign.

  • by Andy Smith (55346) on Monday April 25, 2011 @03:38PM (#35933504) Homepage

    I'll tell you something funny, and slightly on-topic: I am currently a terrorism suspect. I'm a photographer, and for a few weeks earlier this month I was employed to photograph the final stages of an industrial project. This involved photographing a buoy being towed out to sea. I requested access to an oil storage depot that has a long jetty, which would have provided a good spot to take pictures from. I wasn't allowed access, and that was the end of it. Until a few days ago, when the police contacted me. A security guard at the depot had reported me, and the police were investigating why I was "taking photographs of an oil facility", which was considered a possible act of terrorist activity. I was interviewed on Friday, and the police have more-or-less said that I've got nothing to worry about. But it just shows the absurd level to which "terrorism concerns" can be used to harass people.

    Remember, what happened: Requested access to take pictures _from_ oil depot's jetty with full explanation of why, told no, end of story. What police are investigating: Taking photos _of_ an oil facility for unknown reasons. I never took a single photo anywhere near the place!

    • The funny part is that they think a terrorist would actually request access to take photographs of an oil facility.
      • That's almost be as funny thinking a terrorist would actually try to get the deposit back on the Ryder truck.
    • Sounds like a dumb private security guard who's bored and has nothing to do called up the cops who then HAVE to go ask you even though they know it's a waste of their time, and told you you've got nothing to worry about. So really the problem is just a dumb and bored security guard who was probably literally HOPING you were a big bad terrorist so he could be doing something real.
      • by Andy Smith (55346)

        Guessing is guessing but here's what I think happened, based on a conversation I've since had with the manager of the depot: The guard reported the "incident" to his boss, with some things that were true and other (minor) things that weren't. His boss reported it to the police. Next thing he knows, the security guard is giving a statement to the police, and he realises what a pathetic "concern" it is. That's when he adds all the stuff about me taking photos of the depot. He never said anything about that to

        • Yea, there's nothing like a security guard having to talk to a real uniformed officer to cause them to feel embarrassed and then start adding things to try to save face, lol.
        • by corbettw (214229)

          So hire a lawyer and sue that idiot guard for slander, tortuous interference, and filing a false police report. Seriously, don't let that little fuck stick get away with making your life difficult just because he's stupid and bored.

          • by dkleinsc (563838)

            If he's paid as badly as most security guards are, it's safe to say that he's judgment-proof.

        • by eugene ts wong (231154) on Monday April 25, 2011 @09:25PM (#35937206) Homepage Journal

          I really do sympathize with you, but I hope that you can sympathize with others too.

          I think that what happened was the guy tried to tell it like it was, but his memory got the better of him. A couple of books, "The Tipping Point" and "The Invisible Gorilla", clearly document this. In the first book, if I recall correctly, a "Chinese American" prof went on a day tour or something like that, during a holiday. He carried a brochure, and people thought that he was a Japanese spy carrying a camera. It seems so paranoid from our perspective, but this took place during WW II, so it is somewhat paranoid, but being caught off guard at Pearl Harbour, I wouldn't judge Americans for their misconceptions. In the second book, 1 of the authors was convinced that he clearly remembered his experiences on 9/11, but when he called in 2 friends to discuss those details, none of them completely agreed on significant details. The authors of the latter book give examples of people saying things to others, while others make claims that things were said to the people.

          Something like this even happened to me yesterday. I wanted to ask this lady where she got her books that she was selling on the streets. I thought that she would be interested in selling a book that I wrote, but she acted angry and defensive. She basically wanted to know why she should participate in any surveys or anything like that. Even though I explained my request to her, she just couldn't understand my words. I think the thing that threw her off was my clipboard and pen. I sympathized with her, because I actually was conducting surveys, but not of her. In other words, I wasn't trying to survey her. I just happened to see her in between my questioning, and my questioning was completely unrelated.

          I think that we need to remember that people can absorb information at certain speeds, and some are slower. It makes sense that he probably only heard enough words to get the impression that you would photograph the oil stuff. Or maybe it was like I initially said, and he just had a bad memory, but didn't realize it.

          Regarding what he first said, he might have thought that he did first say that.

          Remember that when people forget things, they don't just forget things, they actually fill in the blanks, without even knowing it.

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:11PM (#35933928)

      I'll tell you something funny, and slightly on-topic: I am currently a terrorism suspect.

      Are you still being granted the privilege of being able to fly on airplanes? You may very well be permanently grounded now by virtue of the no fly list.

  • They blocked out the URL for Wikipedia. The Bastards!
  • you own a Casio F-91W wristwatch.

    Coming soon, more standup comedy from Mohammed Foxworthy.

  • Wikileaks mocked this Pentagon Press Secretary tweet this morning:

    https://twitter.com/#!/PentagonPresSec/status/62531762345091072 [twitter.com]

    Thx to Wikileaks we spent Easter weekend dealing w/NYT & other news orgs publishing leaked classified GTMO docs http://1.usa.gov/fWbGED [usa.gov]

  • by Quantus347 (1220456) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:29PM (#35934164)
    Is it just me or does that make you really interested in the remaining 21 detainees?
  • by edxwelch (600979) on Monday April 25, 2011 @04:52PM (#35934492)

    It's quite interesting to read that they arrested people that they knew were innocent, just so they could interrogate them.
    "an al-Jazeera journalist was held at GuantÃnamo for six years, partly in order to be interrogated about the Arabic news network."
    Another gut was arrested "because of his general knowledge of activities in the areas of Khowst and Kabul based as a result of his frequent travels through the region as a taxi driver".
     

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday April 25, 2011 @07:56PM (#35936536) Homepage Journal
    If I remember my 6th grade social studies correctly (It's been a few decades since then) is that many of the things that resulted in the creation of the foundations of our Justice System and indeed many of the things that our Founding Fathers (All of whom would have been considered "Terrorists" by someone...) were so pissed off about... were exactly what we went for in the name of "Security". All those processes against indefinite suspension without a chance to confront your accusers and forcing people to incriminate themselves with torture were supposed to be carved in stone and the very foundation of our legal process, and it all got thrown out the windows as soon as it was inconvenient. Yeah, that doesn't make me suspicious of my government. At all.

    So anywhoo some of those guys at Gitmo might be terrorist assholes. Hell most of them might be, but they've held some completely innocent people there for years too, and that is not how we operate. Well, except that it is, apparently. And we're supposed to be setting an example for the rest of the world? And there's anyone in Congress or the White House, who have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, who will express even a shred of remorse about this? Anyone in the military, since those guys swore a similar oath? Perhaps we could get a copy of this secret constitution you fuckers are working off, so we can know what we can expect in the future.

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