There should be no question that George W. Bush is the first to charge for the shame of Guantánamo. But now President Obama, the Congress, and the nation share that shame. Just as the nation bought the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice-Powell lies that took us to war in Iraq, so the nation bought their claims that every person imprisoned at Guantánamo was the worst of the worst. We now know that was a lie, too.
Of the 166 men now being held at Guantánamo, 86 have been cleared of wrong-doing. There is no reason to hold them except for Congressional action to make their releases difficult and the recalcitrance of a president whose moral convictions have evaporated like steam from boiling water.
No cases illustrate the shame and moral bankruptcy of US actions better than the cases of Shakir Aamer and Sami al-Hajj. Aamer was a humanitarian worker, born in Saudi Arabia, educated in the United States, and a resident of Britain, along with his British family. He was taken into custody by American agents who bought him from people who were responding to American-distributed leaflets that offered bounties for any foreigner that Pakistanis or Afghans turned over. Aamer was sold to the Americans