Consider this incredible sequence of events. A young American citizen was invited to study in a Middle Eastern country. Having arrived there, the dictatorship running the country kidnapped him and held him in solitary confinement for seven years without a trial. The dictatorship didn't just incarcerate him, they stubbornly refused to charge him with a crime during his incarceration. His family and friends have petitioned for his release, but the dictator vaguely insists he was a subversive and intended to attack his country — though the ruler stubbornly refuses to provide any details about how this might have happened. Release of these details — even seven years later — would jeopardize "national security." But it's also widely known that this person was apprehended unarmed and had not engaged in any violence.
Last month, a consortium of human-rights groups from the University of California at Berkeley released a report entitled Guantanamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees [pdf]. Its 136 pages prove in dispassionate prose allegations that Americans passionately debate: the U.S. government imprisoned mostly innocent men, without trial or criminal charges, at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, abused a great many of them, and tortured some.
Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon issued a release order on November 20 for five Algerian prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Algerians had been locked up in Guantanamo for seven years without a trial, and Leon dismissed the government claims that they stay locked up based upon one anonymous government source that the administration would not let the court question or review.
On November 6, a Florida jury convicted former FBI Agent John J. Connally, Jr. of initiating the 1982 slaying of a business executive by a hit man for Boston's infamous "Irish Mafia." Connolly is one of several FBI agents at the heart of a decades-old scandal in which the FBI was found to be protecting some of the worst Mafia killers from apprehension and prosecution by other federal, state, and local authorities.