Bin Laden's driver still a test case of sorts

Miami HeraldSeptember 23, 2008 

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Some days, America's lone convicted terrorist here amuses himself by calling out ''All rise,'' like a court bailiff, as guards pass his cell.

Mostly, Salim Hamdan passes the time with photos of family from home in Yemen.

It's been six weeks since a military jury made Hamdan a war criminal for working as Osama bin Laden's $200-a-month driver in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon has yet to say precisely when his 66-month prison sentence ends. Or where he will go.

What to do with Hamdan illustrates how much the Pentagon is still improvising war-on-terror detention policy -- six years after the Bush administration opened the prison camps here in remote southeast Cuba.

For now, he is segregated, the only prisoner in a corridor set aside for convicts at Camp 5.

But until someone else is convicted at the first war crimes tribunals since World War II, Hamdan, 40, is a category of one.

''A Detainee Socialization Management Plan will be implemented,'' says Army Maj. Rick Morehouse. The goal: "To avoid linguistic isolation and solitary confinement.''

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