In a two-sentence ruling given on Monday, U.S. District Judge James Robertson granted the habeas corpus petition and thus ordered the release of Mohamedou Salahi, who was arrested in Mauritania in 2001 and has been held as an enemy combatant at Guantánamo Bay for eight years. Robertson said he would explain his decision in a later statement.
The 9/11 Commission report describes Salahi, the 34th detainee ordered released on a habeas petition, as a high-level al Qaeda operative who advised three of the 9/11 hijackers when they were living in Germany before the attacks. An internal military investigation found Salahi was abused by U.S. officers at Gitmo — threatened with death by drowning and subjected to sleep deprivation. President Barack Obama’s administration is expected to appeal Robertson’s ruling.
Slahi’s detention at Guantanamo has been controversial because of the interrogation techniques used on him. Slahi is one of the few detainees held at Guantanamo who had a special, and harsh, interrogation plan approved for his questioning.
A military prosecutor decided he could not prosecute Slahi due to the interrogation techniques, yet he admitted that Slahi was one of the most dangerous al Qaeda operatives in custody.
“Of the cases I had seen, [Slahi] was the one with the most blood on his hands,” said Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crouch, during an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2007. [Link here]
Slahi denied many of the US military’s charges against him during hearings at Gitmo. Yet during his first administrative review board hearing, he admitted that he had sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden.
“I was in jihad and I swore bayat to Bin Laden and everything but that was a very long time ago,” Slahi told his review board.
During his denials, Slahi also admitted to transferring thousands of dollars to Abu Hafs al Mauritania, his cousin and brother-in-law. Abu Hafs al Mauritania is a top al Qaeda theologian and longtime spiritual advisor to bin Laden.
Sweetness & Light casts some light on some previous actions by Judge Robertson who was appointed by President Clinton:
Mr. Robertson is also the same heroic judge who resigned from the FISA court in a self-righteous
He also summarily released 30 other terrorists detainees last November.
More importantly perhaps, Judge Robertson is the also same legal hero who begat the Hamdan ruling, when he demanded that foreign combats should receive habeas corpus rights.
As in his book, Courting Disaster, Marc Thiessen shines some light on Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights which has been leading habeas lawyers in the legal jihad on behalf of terrorists.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.