The timing could hardly have been worse: The Boston bombings occurred the day after an Independent on Sunday exposé of “President Obama’s shame” in not releasing 86 prisoners at Guantánamo Bay cleared for release (that itself was the day after most prisoners clashed with guards) which has led to a mass hunger strike – never mind the plight of others stuck there deemed “too dangerous to release”. It is too early to jump to conclusions about the instigator(s) of the Boston atrocities but Chechens are being blamed in some of the US media. As the IoS article says:
“Today, 166 inmates remain. Three have been convicted, while a further 30 will face trial. Fifty or so are in a legal no-man’s-land, deemed by the authorities too dangerous to release but against whom there is not enough evidence to prosecute. And then there are 86 who have been cleared for release, but who instead rot in a hell from which there is no escape. No wonder yesterday more than 160 of them were involved in clashes with guards that led to what the US said were “less than lethal” rounds being fired.”
Many of the detainees are from Yemen, and the excuse for not releasing them was a foiled Yemeni plot to smuggle a bomb on-board an airliner in May 2012. But not releasing them just because they came from that country is obviously racism.
According to this report on the Close Guantánamo website, 40 of those prisoners were cleared for release by President Obama’s interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force at least 5 years ago.
Anybody concerned about human rights should be appalled by the injustices (including the torture of course) of Guantánamo Bay, which is the biggest source of recruitment for al-Qaeda, just as the Diplock courts (without juries) and treatment of hunger strikers like Bobby Sands MP in Northern Ireland (allowed to die by Thatcher) aided recruitment to the IRA.