Rulings of Wrongful Detentions at Guantánamo
By WILLIAM GLABERSON - The New York Times
Published: January 18, 2009
For nearly six years, Haji Bismullah, an Afghan detainee at Guantánamo Bay, has insisted that he was no terrorist, but had actually fought the Taliban and had later been part of the pro-American Afghan government.
By reviewing government documents, court records and media reports, The Times was able to compile an approximate list of detainees currently at Guantánamo.
Over the weekend, the Bush administration flew him home after a military panel concluded that he “should no longer be deemed an enemy combatant.”
Asked about the panel’s decision, which was not publicly announced and seemed to acknowledge a mistake of grand proportions, a Pentagon spokeswoman said, “Mr. Bismullah was lawfully detained as an enemy combatant based on the information that was available at the time.”
The decision was part of a pattern that has emerged in the closing chapter of the administration. In the last three months, at least 24 detainees have been declared improperly held by courts or a tribunal — or nearly 10 percent of the population at the detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where about 245 men remain.