05 Mar 2006

Guantanamo Transcripts, Section 22, Case 1

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ISN# 965 – 9 pages – Detainee: H (Afghan)

Reasons for Detention:

H was captured by US forces, when stopped at a checkpoint. H was wearing an olive-green field jacket and was with a group of persons observed caching weapons recently used against US forces. Medical examination post-capture detected hearing impairment likely to result from firing weapons.

H was allegedly raised and employed by a low level Taliban commander named Mullah Mohammed Shah.

Detainee’s position:

Denies everything. Asserts that he is a farmer. Has never seen the Taliban. Does not even know what a rifle or a pistol is.

JDZ Conclusions:

It is evident that H was detained on suspicion and has been held on the basis of not implausible circumstantial evidence. It is probable that he did commit hostile acts against US forces. He was captured by US forces. He is plausibly connected to the Taliban. I found it impossible to form any opinion on the truth or falsehood of his denials, until we got to his denials of even knowing what a rifle or a pistol is.

Q: Did you ever use a rifle or a pistol or anything like that?

A: I have not used it. If I do not know it, how is it possible that I have used it?

Here H strains credulity to the breaking point. It is not possible to believe that any male rural Afghan does not know what weapons, particularly rifles and pistols, are. H has persuaded me that he is lying.

H is clearly a rural Afghan, who probably did fire on US forces in defense of his local authorities. He seems to be an insignificant foot soldier type. I think he should be released as soon as there was no organized hostile force he could rejoin, as long as he takes a credible oath to keep the peace. Evidently, US authorities believe organized hostile forces still exist, and in those circumstances, I believe they are justified in continuing to detain him.

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