By LEONARD C. GOODMAN, IN THESE TIMES
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bragged that the bounty leaflets were falling from the Afghan sky 'like snowflakes.'
In May, President Barack Obama began floating the idea that his administration might seek the power to "preventatively detain" terrorism suspects who "are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried." The rationale is: These folks are bad. We can't tell you how we know this because of national security concerns. So trust us. This is in effect what the Bush administration told us for more than five years, and it is nonsense.
I am an attorney representing one of the 230 remaining Guantanamo detainees who are subject to this preventative detention. Shawali Khan has been imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center for more than six years without charges. Khan is a small man with sad eyes, about 40 years old, who comes from a small farming village near Kandahar, Afghanistan.