Free at Last?

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The New York Times applauded last week’s Supreme Court decision giving terrorist suspects held in Guantanamo certain legal rights.

On July 4th, the paper editorialized: “For more than two years now, about 600 men have been kept in American custody in Cuba, and the odds are that some — perhaps most — were merely hapless Afghan foot soldiers or bystanders swept up in the confusion of the American invasion.”

But Andrew McCarthy, the chief prosecutor of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, reminds us that of the thousands captured in Afghanistan, well over 90 percent were released after careful screening: “Given the screening, the attendant political costs, and the burden involved in keeping prisoners, there is every reason to believe that the 600 still being held are extremely dangerous. Does The Times think there are no dangerous Al Qaeda operatives?”

And according to Rep. Porter J. Goss, a former CIA agent who is now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, even some of those who have been released are still dangerous: "We've already had instances where we know that people who have been released from our detention have gone back and have become combatants again."

And that's The Observer.