Commentary: Guantanamo's unjust detentions

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

The shortcomings of the Guantanamo detention system were on full display last week. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver and sometime bodyguard, was sent home to Yemen, where he will be released within weeks. Meanwhile, 17 Chinese Muslims continue to languish in detention even though the government no longer says they are terror suspects.

Unfair? You bet. A system under which some are tried, convicted and then sent home for release, but in which the innocent are kept in prison for years is both absurd and reprehensible.

Mr. Hamdan was a menial figure in al Qaeda who said he had no prior knowledge of 9/11. A military jury cleared him of conspiracy charges and sentenced him to 66 months in prison, minus 61 months for time served. Clearly, the jurists believed he was no terrorist, and that keeping him locked up served no purpose except to further discredit Guantanamo.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.