Here's an odd confluence of events: On the same day that a D.C. District Court ruling makes it easier for the government to hold suspected terror detainees indefinitely, the Department of Defense announces the transfer of Mohammed Odaini back to Yemen:
On May 26, 2010, a U.S. District Court ordered the release of Mohammed Odaini from custody at Guantanamo Bay. As a result, the Department of Defense has transferred him to his native country. In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer Odaini at least 15 days before his transfer.
The suspension of Yemeni repatriations from Guantanamo remains in effect due to the security situation that exists there. However, the Administration respects the decisions of U.S. federal courts, which ordered the release of Odaini. As with all transfers, the U.S. Government will work with the Yemeni Government to the fullest extent possible to implement appropriate security measures.
If you're wondering why Odaini was transferred home anyway, it's because despite the fact that the government had held Odaini for eight years, the evidence of his connections to al-Qaeda were nonexistent. That's not my opinion; in his ruling Judge Henry H. Kennedy, who granted Odaini's habeas petition literally wrote that "there is no evidence that Odaini has any connection to Al Qaeda."
As Glenn Greenwald has noted, the Obama administration seems to have known this from the beginning. An anonymous administration official was quoted by The Washington Post saying, "We don't have anything on this kid."
So why'd it take a court order to send him home after eight years?
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