Posted by | November 21, 2008 12:42 | Filed under: Top Stories

Judge Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court in Washington has ordered the release of five Algerian men who have been held illegally at Guantanamo Bay for almost seven years.


It was the first hearing on the government’s evidence for holding detainees at Guantánamo. The judge…said the government’s secret evidence in the case had been weak: what he described as “a classified document from an unnamed source” for its central claim against the men, with little way to measure credibility.


“To rest on so thin a reed would be inconsistent with this court’s obligation,” Judge Leon said. He urged the government not to appeal and said the men should be released “forthwith.”

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the men had a right to seek their release in federal court.  Leon is a Bush appointee who ruled in 2005 that these men had no habeas corpus rights.

As he read his decision in a quiet courtroom, he seemed to bridle at the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying its effect was “to superimpose the habeas corpus process into the world of intelligence gathering.”


Sounds like Leon didn’t like his own decision, but did the right thing by obeying the law, one with which he appears to disagree.

Lawyers for other detainees said the decision was a repudiation of the Bush administration’s effort to use the detention center at the American naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to avoid scrutiny by American judges. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to close the prison.

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Copyright 2008 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.