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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good News, Bad News as Guantanamo Anniversary Approaches

While the facility is still open, and America’s reputation continues to be tarnished, opponents of the Bush administration’s detention camp at Guantanamo have reason to celebrate today. Three of the five Bosnian detainees ordered released last month by District Judge Richard Leon were returned to their families yesterday evening. After seven years in captivity, the men were finally allowed to challenge their detention in federal habeas proceedings, and were at last vindicated.

Ironically, the man whose Supreme Court case was the impetus for yesterday’s happy news remains stuck in Guantanamo’s limbo. Lakhdar Boumediene, along with the fifth man Saber Lahmar did not return home with the others. According to the Associated Press, the lawyers for the men suggest that they were left behind because neither has Bosnian citizenship. Considering how difficult it has been for the government to find countries willing to accept former detainees, it is impossible to say how long they will have to wait for release. It seems that for these men, justice will continue to be delayed.

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