... they sold us to the Pakistani authorities for $5,000 per person.
June 1, 2005 4:50 PM   Subscribe

"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards"
--As part of the AP's receipt of transcripts of the millitary tribunals in Guantanamo, multiple reports of our allies using money the US gave them to buy "terrorists" for shipment there.
..."When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you." Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo....
posted by amberglow (14 comments total)
This makes me sick.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:06 PM on June 1, 2005

It was clear that Northern Alliance in Afghanistan were fingering political/personal opponents as well as any actual fighters -- this puts a whole new spin on the revolting situation. The Americans were in no position to decide who was an actual threat and who wasn't. Of course, imprisonment without charge or trial tends to create that kind of opportunity.
posted by dreamsign at 5:18 PM on June 1, 2005

I suppose it's not surprising that if you play at cowboy diplomacy, you get something that ends up looking like old-west justice.
posted by blendor at 5:32 PM on June 1, 2005

You have to wonder if the Administration's dogged refusal to even acknowledge the presence (or absence) of any individual in Gitmo has to do with protecting the nation's security, or if it rather has to do with protecting the reputation of America by making it extremely difficult for this sort of story to ever see the light of day.
posted by clevershark at 5:32 PM on June 1, 2005

We give money to tribal warlords for people all the time. Stinger missiles too.

Since when is any of this new news. This is what Ghost Wars was all about - Riding a Russian, CIA-owned Mi-17 over the Afghanistan, with 3 million in cash between your legs.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2005

... the skies of Afghanistan ...
posted by SweetJesus at 5:43 PM on June 1, 2005

I have no problem with bounties per se. They have long been used to induce people to turn in criminals. However, their use without accountability can lead to serious abuses. The problem is the lack of accountability, the holding of prisoners in secret and without due process. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong, moral or immoral, it is stupid. Whatever benefit gained in avoiding due process and holding potential terrorists so that they can no longer operate is far overwhelmed by the damage to America's image abroad and the recruiting potential for new terrorists. Lock one up unfairly, cause several more disaffected young men to enlist with Al Qaeda or similar violent organizations.
posted by caddis at 5:55 PM on June 1, 2005

...and of course while those modern-day slaves were being processed real terrorists were laughing all the way to wherever they were going.
posted by clevershark at 6:05 PM on June 1, 2005

However, their use without accountability can lead to serious abuses.

It's not like this is a wholly unexpected result.
It seems quite clear that there would be an expected tradeoff of innocent for guilty in whatever proportions were necessary. Unfortunately, I'm sure that a lot of scared Americans would agree.
posted by dreamsign at 6:15 PM on June 1, 2005

By the time the US went to Afghanistan they were just about completely unprepared to deal with the realities they would encounter there. They had practically no resources for dealing with speakers of Pashto or other Persian-like languages, for example, and the various anti-Taliban factions on the ground knew it. As such it was very easy to them to essentially con US forces into doing their dirty work. Additionally this gave rise to major embarassments, such as allied forces simply letting untold numbers of Taliban and foreign fighters escape quickly and quietly from Tora-Bora and out of Afghanistan, including possibly OBL himself.

Given that, and the old CIA tactic of greasing the palms of whoever will talk to them, that sort of thing was pretty inevitable.
posted by clevershark at 6:29 PM on June 1, 2005

"I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is -- promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.

In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report."

posted by euphorb at 8:52 PM on June 1, 2005

And they quoted that same report over and over when trying to make their case about Saddam.
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on June 1, 2005

You all look like a bunch of terrorists to me. I'll be eatin' brand-name puddin' tonight!

Y'know, though there's a general lack of conservatives to rail against here... This is the EXACT FUCKING REASON that we have a Fourth Ammendment. Because the Brits were locking people up without charging them, on whatever info they happened to turn up.

I love America. Why can't our politicians love America as much as I do?
posted by klangklangston at 10:54 AM on June 2, 2005

Your tax dollars at work. Mine too. Gee, I wonder why it is I bust my ass all day working 50+ hours a week, my wife too, and we're still just barely affording the house. But I guess those bounties are important to freedom. Or whatever.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:39 AM on June 2, 2005

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