By Jim Stanford on April 9, 2010
What would you do if you saw Dick Cheney on the street? Think, there goes a doddering ogre of an old man, and leave him be?
Or get in his face about, say, an article like this:
No less of a conservative news source than the Times of London reports that Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush knowingly imprisoned hundreds of innocent people at Guantánamo Bay because freeing them would have undercut their phony justification for the Iraq war.
The Times report was based on a signed statement by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, in a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee.
“[Wilkerson] claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence 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,’” the Times reports.
Colonel Wilkerson, a long-time critic of the Bush Administration’s approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq, claimed that the majority of detainees — children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, he said — 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. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken.
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.”
Remember that next time you bump into Cheney at Kmart or Whole Grocer.