As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Collateral Damage In The War On Terror

This guy's had some time of things this decade, but he may finally get to go home.

Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko was tortured by al-Qaeda and imprisoned by the Taliban for 18 months because the groups' leaders thought he was an American spy.

Abandoned by his captors in late 2001, he was picked up by U.S. authorities, who shipped him to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion that he was a member of the two groups.

Yesterday, a federal judge ordered Janko's release, saying the government's legal rationale for continuing to detain him "defies common sense."

In a 13-page opinion that he read from the bench, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered the government to engage in diplomatic efforts to find a country that would host the 30-year-old detainee. It is unlikely that he will be sent to his native Syria. His attorney, Stephen R. Sady, would like Janko sent "to a safe haven."

"This is a tragedy," Sady said. "The guy was horribly tortured and then tries to report his human rights violation to the U.S. forces. He is a brave person and wants to tell his story. Instead, he gets mistaken for being a terrorist. . . . This is a nightmare for an innocent man being accused of all of these things."

Amazingly, the al-Janko story doesn't even come to mind when thinking of all the injustices meted out during this so-called war on terror. That's how deep the level of injustice has become. I never heard of this guy before reading this story.

When he is released, I hope somebody asks him who treated him better, al Qaeda or the Americans.

By the way, this was a habeas hearing, so remember that the Bush Administration didn't want this man to ever have this opportunity - and neither would the Obama Administration, were al-Janko kept at Bagram Air Force Base.

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