Released Afghan prisoners. Photograph: Syed Jan Sabawoon/EPA
This is what happens when you throw away the rule book and decide to make up the game as you go along.
The Cheney regime didn't want no stinking Geneva Conventions or even the U.S. court system getting in the way during their sexy little wars on the terra-ists -- so now we have this:
About time someone asked that question.
Actually General Stanley McChrystal figured out not long after he took over the U.S. war that the occupiers' custom of snatching up Afghan men without any legal procedure amounted to recruiting for the Taliban fighting his forces.
So McChrystal instituted a review process to try to get innocent detainees out of these hotbeds for radicalization. But according to Gareth Porter in writing in IPS, the officers from Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) now in charge of the release decisions are the same individuals who previously signed off on locking the detainees up without much basis. They have a lot of incentive to cover up their past mistakes while detainees still lack access to any effective legal process according to Human Rights Watch.
These things have a way of snowballing. It's a lot easier to start down the route of human rights abuse than to turn back.