One detainee told military investigators that he was simply a driver for the Taliban, caught up in the madness that ensued in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks until he was captured by American forces. Another detainee talked up his integral role to planning and execution of terrorist plots in al Qaeda and offered seemingly juicy pieces of information on the terror organization’s leading players. In the end both tales were lies and interrogators fell for them, as outlined in a new batch of documents released by WikiLeaks that shows detailed accounts of the men who have done time at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The assessments written by military officials, and the subsequent handling of Guantanamo detainees—who was kept there, who was released to allied countries, whose account was trusted and whose was not—paints a picture of confusion about who the United States can and cannot trust during its fight against Muslim extremism. The documents also show the delicacy of dealing with the Guantanamo detention facility, a place that President Obama promised to shut down but has so far been unable to do so. What do the past interrogations of terror suspects mean for the next 10 years in the war on terrorism?
Karen Greenburg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security, at NYU Law School
Michael F. Scheuer, adjunct professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University
Col. Randy Larsen, director of The Institute for Homeland Security; retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force and former Chairman of the Department of Military Strategy & Operations at the National War College
Vijay Padmanabhan, assistant professor of law at Benjamin Cardoza School of Law; former chief counsel on Guantanamo & Iraq detainee litigation at the U.S. Department of State from 2003 – 2008