US admits Guantanamo bay is helping the cause of terrorists

Or, possibly, that it's incapable of proving that any of the 660 prisoners in Guantanamo bay are guilty of anything.

"Our interest is in not trying [the prisoners] and letting them out," [Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld] said in a question-and-answer session after a speech to the National Press Club. "Our interest is in - during this global war on terror - keeping them off the streets, and so that's what's taking place."
"We have the apparatus [for trials] arranged, ready, and we have a very fine group of advisers as to how to do it in the event it has to be done," he said. "But for the moment, we don't have any candidates."

(Via Tom Tomorrow.)

Let me get this straight:

  • The US has a whole bunch of alleged terrorists imprisoned in Guantanamo bay.
  • It's ready to carry out military trials if necessary, and is confident that they'll be well run.
  • But if anybody goes to trial, they'll be set free. (Presumably because they'll be found innocent.)
  • That would not help the global war on terror.
  • So nobody will go to trial, except maybe the Brits and Australians, because they've been moaning.

Now, it's difficult to reconcile all of these positions. But, if we assume they're all true, then that can mean two possible things:

  • The prisoners are terrorists, but the US can't prove it, so it will have to free them, and they'll go on to commit more acts of terrorism; or
  • The prisoners are innocent of any terrorism charges, but if freed they'll turn to terrorism.

Either way, it's a savage indictment of the US's performance in Guantanamo Bay, and it's particularly amusing that the whistleblower is none other than Rumsfeld himself.