The belief that the men imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay are the “worst of the worst dangerous terrorists” is still commonly held, due in large part to the mainstream corporate media and politicians. But as early as 2006, Seton Hall University School of Law identified, using US Department of Defense data, that only 5 percent of prisoners were captured by the US military. Of the current 80 remaining detainees, only three were captured by US forces, including Pakistani prisoner Saifullah Paracha, who was kidnapped in Thailand.
The vast majority of prisoners (86 percent) “were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to United States custody” in return for a bounty. Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000 per person. Initially denied by Pakistan, in his 2006 memoir, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf admitted, “We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars.” Musharraf called it “prize money.”
Another beneficiary of this nefarious trade was Afghan warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, the current vice president of Afghanistan, who was denied entry to the US in April 2016, as he stands accused of war crimes. US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), who maintains the “bad men” myth, has long been a friend of Dostum.
The US largely did not capture the prisoners it continues to hold at Guantánamo — it bought them.
The fact remains that the US largely did not capture the prisoners it continues to hold at Guantánamo — it bought them. The same media and politicians that feign concern for ISIS’ slaves conveniently forget that the US, too, trades in captives. Many Guantánamo prisoners have also been sexually abused, and practices such as body cavity searches are tantamount to rape.
The Trade in Prisoners…