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by RAY FLEMING
IT is odd that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, should have delivered his criticism of Guantanamo Bay during the course of his eight-day visit to the Sudan. As some newspaper corespondents have pointed out, he has so far said nothing about the dreadful situation in Darfur which, so to speak, is on his doorstep at the moment. It was also odd that in speaking about the American prison camp in Cuba he should have adopted Tony Blair's language by referring to it as an “anomaly”. Actually, he called it “an extraordinary legal anomaly” which is stronger than anything Mr Blair has said but still seems to stop short of the sense of moral outrage one might expect Dr Williams to express. In another development the testimony of some of those incarcerated at Guantanamo is becoming available following a “freedom of information” judgement by a US judge which has resulted in the release by the Pentagon of hundreds of transcripts of hearings held by the US military. The documents also record interventions by US officers, among them a senior officer who told a detainee who had asked for his rights under the Geneva conventions for prisoners of war that he did not care about international law and that the Geneva conventions did not apply to proceedings at military prisons. When the detainee, originally from Croydon, London, insisted the officer told him, “I don't want to hear the words international law again. I am going to give you one last opportunity.” Reading these testimonies one wonders how many of the detainees ever came to be arrested in Aghanistan in the first place. Whether their stories are true or not it is difficult to see how their alleged status as “enemy combatants” could ever be proved without a confession. Left in a legal limbo they will rot in Guantanamo Bay until the United States yields to international pressure and releases all those against whom no solid evidence has been established.