Politics

22 Innocent Chinese Muslims, Imprisoned by President Bush in Gitmo, Released After 10 Years

| by Michael Allen

For eight years, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney repeatedly assured Americans that all the people locked up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were "terrorists" and the "worst of the worst."

This false claim is still perpetuated by Republicans who have sought to keep the notorious prison camp open forever, even after evidence of torture was exposed, notes PolicyMic.com.

In reality, hundreds of the prisoners have been found innocent of any wrongdoing.

According to The New York Times, 22 Uighurs (Muslims from Western China) were released from Gitmo today after ten years of false imprisonment.

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The U.S. military admitted these men posed no actual threat to the US back in 2003, but they were finally released thanks to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which gives President Obama power to transfer the detainees to third countries, reported MSNBC.

However, Republicans still refuse to allow Gitmo detainees to be transferred to the US or to stand trial in the US because of "threats to safety," even though numerous terrorists have been tried and jailed in the United States for decades.

The Uighurs fled persecution in China and went to Afghanistan to join Uighur communities when they were rounded up by the Northern Alliance (thuggish mercenaries hired by the US) in 2001 and imprisoned in Gitmo, noted PBS.

In 2003, the US military finally figured out that the Uighurs were "not affiliated with Al Qaeda or a Taliban leader" and should be released, but the men faced persecution if returned to China.

The Bush administration refused requests in 2005 to move the Uighurs to a hotel in Guantanamo Bay, and kept the innocent men imprisoned.

Five of the Uighurs were released to Albania in 2006 and the rest, 22, were sent to Slovakia today.

However, there are still 155 prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay, which was recently called “a prison that should never have been opened” by Major General Michael Lehnert, who oversaw the opening of the jail.

In a recent editorial for the Detroit Free Press, Lehnert writes:

Even in the earliest days of Guantanamo, I became more and more convinced that many of the detainees should never have been sent in the first place. They had little intelligence value, and there was insufficient evidence linking them to war crimes. That remains the case today for many, if not most, of the detainees.

Sources: The New York Times, PBS, PolicyMic.com, Detroit Free Press, MSNBC