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After 13 Years in Gitmo, Pentagon Says Detainee is Case of ‘Mistaken Identity’


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Mustafa Abd-al-Qawi Abd-al-Aziz al-Shamiri was captured in 2002 and believed then to be a major al Qaeda facilitator or courier, or maybe a trainer, according to the Department of Defense.

He was interrogated “vigorously” and when he did not admit to those activities and did not supply detailed, high level information on al Qaeda, was thrown away, without charge, into America’s offshore penal colony at Guantanamo Bay.

For 13 years.

Now, desiring after 13 years to reduce the prison population at Gitmo, the Department of Defense says al-Shamiri’s imprisonment was all a simply mistake of confused identity. In the Kafkaesque world America created post-9/11, al-Shamiri could not answer his torturers because he had no knowledge of what they were demanding from him. His silence was taken as insolence, and he was punished accordingly.

For 13 years.

Al-Shamiri is now age 37. He spent about one third of his entire life in Gitmo because of a mistake. And if somehow you are not human enough to be moved by that alone, perhaps you can care about the $2.7 million per prisoner per year it costs the U.S. to keep a person in Guantanamo.
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Iraqis Swear: US "In Cahoots With ISIS…It Is Not In Doubt"

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On Tuesday evening, we took a look at how Iran’s Shiite proxy arms fighting ISIS in Iraq responded to Ash Carter’s contention that the US would soon send an “expeditionary targeting force” to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the battle against Islamic State.

From Kata'ib Hezbollah: "We will chase and fight any American force deployed in Iraq. Any such American force will become a primary target for our group. We fought them before and we are ready to resume fighting."

From the Badr Organisation: "All Iraqis look to (the Americans) as occupiers who are not trustworthy."

And as for the official reaction from Baghdad, we go to PM Haider al-Abadi: “Iraq does not need foreign ground combat forces on Iraqi land."

So basically, “thanks, but we’ve seen enough of your ground troops over the past 15 years and if they come here again, they’re likely to get shot at, and not just by ISIS.”

This is a conundrum for Washington. The US-trained and armed Iraqi regulars fight alongside, and in some cases report directly to, the Shiite militias and these militias are far more effective at fighting ISIS than government forces. In some battles, there are more militiamen fighting than Iraqi soldiers.
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