After the disaster on Sept 11, 2001, the Bush administration needed to be perceived as tough and effective in finding and punishing those responsible for the attacks of 9/11. Close to 800 individuals were picked up in a short period of time without any due process and shipped to Guantanamo prison. These prisoners were initially called detainees then enemy combatants so the Bush administration could rationalize not treating them humanely, as required of prisoners of war.
Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, claimed that the majority of detainees — children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000 each. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken.
Colonel Wilkerson was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defense Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”. They feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.
Referring to Mr Cheney, Colonel Wilkerson, who served 31 years in the US Army, asserted: “He had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent ... If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.”
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In my opinion, Dick Cheney and the Bush administration had no respect for either national laws, international laws, the Constitution, or human decency. They rounded up approx 800 people, not caring that most were innocent. They treated these people, including children, horrible and tortured many. This is what tyranny looks like.