Gitmo Lawyer Criticizes High Court Ruling on Detainees

Nicholas Ballasy | Staff Writer | Monday, June 23, 2008

Gitmo Lawyer Criticizes High Court Ruling on Detainees

Video Report ( - The U.S. Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision to allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay to file for trial in a civilian court instead of a military court is a bad ruling that could lead to more American deaths on the battlefield, according to Kyndra Rotunda, a U.S. Army Reserves major and author of the new book, "Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials."

"We already know that 5 to 10 percent of those released end up back on the battlefield attacking U.S. soldiers and interfering with the mission in Iraq. With this ruling, we could end up with that tenfold," she said during a book discussion at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

"We already have very robust procedures that actually exceed what prisoners would get under the Geneva Conventions," said Kyndra, "so I think the Supreme Court made a mistake stepping into a system that was working."

Kyndra served as a legal advisor to the camp commander at Guantanamo and worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Military Commissions Prosecution Team as a prosecutor.

At the book discussion, Rotunda also told the audience about the accommodations the U.S. military provide detainees, who are entitled to medical and dental care as well as a colonoscopy. She further explained that since Guantanamo Bay opened, the number of prisoners has dropped from 800 to 200, and that this statistic is problematic.

"We have no interest in holding innocent people, and we have no interest in holding the wrong people, but we do have an interest in holding those who are enemy combatants who took up arms," she said. "The law allows us to do that, and we should hold these detainees until the end of hostility."

Cybercast News Service interviewed Rotunda and Edwin Meese, former attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and chairman at the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation during the event.

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