If you take seriously the propaganda from the corporate media, you would think that everyone being held and tortured at Guantanamo is a dangerous terrorist. Of course, you would have thought that Iraq had WMDs before the second US/Iraq War. You also probably believed that there were terrorist links between Iraq's Arab nationalist Ba'ath Party and their mortal enemies, Al Qaeda.
When analyzing the subject of the people held without charge or trial at the gulag, it is important to look at how and why they were detained in the first place.
1) The Turn in Your Enemies for Fun and Profit Plan in Afghanistan
Most of the people picked up in Afghanistan were turned in for rewards. In any country, a policy of giving large sums of money to people in return for fingering people as "terrorists" would give dubious results. In a country which has been so heavily fractured by wars and so divided along lines of ethnicity, politics, religion, and extended family, the results would be expected to be pretty much random. However, it's a bit worse than that. The only group in Afghan society which usually observes ethnic and religious solidarity is the most numerous ethnic group, the Pashtuns. Guess which group is the base for the Taliban.
In other words, the process for picking up "terrorists" in Afghanistan was slightly less accurate than random chance. So much for the idea that most of these people rotting in the gulag are "terrorists."
2) The Post 911 Sweeps Here in the US
George W. Bush and John Ashcroft are militant, Christian fundamentalists who also are white supremacists. The sweeps after the 911 attacks of Muslim men of Middle East origin were based on racial and religious profiling. This should surprise no one given the view of Ashcroft, Bush, and so many American rightists that all Muslims of Middle Eastern origin are to be assumed to be terrorists. Again, we have a random process for selecting inmates for the gulag.
3) The Case of the Uyghurs
From Democracy Now! 2/19/09
A federal appeals court has blocked the release of seventeen Uyghur prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The group was previously ordered to be resettled with other Uyghur families in the United States. But a three-judge panel ruled District Judge Ricardo Urbina had erred in ordering their release into the US. The US government has admitted the men have been unlawfully detained but wont send them back to China where they face persecution. Emi MacLean of the Center for Constitutional Rights said, The new administration must act quickly to remedy the failings of the old. If President Obama is committed to closing Guantánamo, he must allow these stranded Uyghurs into the United States.
Both the Obama Administration and the Bush regime have admitted that these people are completely innocent. However, our creditors in China have insisted that these people not be released to any custody but theirs (so China can detain and torture them rather than the US). So, they languish in the gulag.
We need to open our eyes and pay attention to what actually is being done in our name in the Guantanamo gulag. Buying into the propaganda only makes a morally reprehensible situation seem impossible to resolve.