Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Operative statement: they are "no longer enemy combatants"
The Pentagon plans to release nearly a third of those held at the prison for terrorism suspects here because they pose no threat to U.S. security, an official of the war crimes tribunal said Monday.

Inoperative statement: "The worst of the worst"
Bush administration officials and military leaders have often justified the extraordinary conditions under which detainees are held at Guantánamo by insisting that the detainees are hardened terrorists. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld famously described the Guantánamo detainees as "the worst of the worst."

And while many administration officials have privately backed away from such claims, they argue that most of the 490 detainees still being held would pose a significant threat to the United States if released. Pentagon spokesmen have generally dismissed the detainees' protestations of innocence as the predictable lies of well-trained militants.


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