MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) – The five Taliban exchanged for American POW Bowe Bergdahl were placed in the Indefinite Detention category by the Joint Task Force which suggests that the evidence against them was either insufficient to support charges, or procured by torture and thus inadmissible according to Stephen Truitt, a defense attorney principally responsible for one Gitmo prisoner but assisting in three other cases.
“In either event such “evidence” is more than a decade old but is repeated now as though it were both fresh and reliable. It is neither,” Truitt told RIA Novosti Monday.
“It does not rise above mere allegation notwithstanding incantations in the press which has simply repeated these characterization without analysis.”
Based on media reports the Pentagon says that Bergdahl is now en route to Germany after five years in captivity, media reported Sunday citing the Pentagon.
“Prisoner exchanges while hostilities are ongoing is a regular feature of international policy and practice, including that of the US,” underlined Truitt adding that the US has done this since the Revolutionary war, through the Civil War, and after WW2.
The lawyer said that while there is no particular formula for the ratio of any exchange, countries like Israel regularly exchange scores of prisoners for a very small number of its citizens. In fact, Truitt argues that the idea that America does not negotiate with terrorists is a myth.
As an example, he noted that thus the Iran-US hostage crisis (a seizure explicitly found by the World Court to have been in flagrant violation of international law) was ended through negotiation, not force.
“That the agreement was reached via an intermediary (there Algeria, here Qatar) does not obscure who the real actors are,” the attorney said. “As a matter of practicality one negotiates with the jailer, as there is no one else who can deliver the prisoner.”
Returning a prisoner of war may pose a danger to the population they are returned to. Truitt says that even in civilian prisons there is a high recidivism rate. More than 50 percent of prisoners leaving federal prisons after their sentence are back in prison in three years after conviction. That said, this does not mean that all prison sentences should be lifelong. No one suggests that. And when it comes to the return to the battle figures suggested by the DOD are dwarfed by the US domestic prison system.