Marking 10 years since Guantanamo's opening, the ACLU releases report on Guantanamo detainees

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Marking ten years since Guantanamo Bay’s opening, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a report called, “Guantanamo by the Numbers”, describing the cost of running the camp and the treatment of detainees.

Since the Department of Defense opened the prison in 2002, it has held 779 men.  According to the government data, 92% of these men were never al-Qaeda fighters.

Five percent of the prisoners were captured by the US military and 86% were “reportedly turned over to Coalition forces in response to a bounty offer.” The ACLU reports that the amount offered to Pakistani and Afghan villagers to turn someone in is “Millions of dollars…Enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life.”

The youngest prisoner captured was 13 years old and the oldest was 98 years of age. Plus, 21 children have been imprisoned at the camp.

More than 200 FBI agents have reported abusive treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.  At the same time, at least 16 men were tortured in CIA’s overseas secret prisons before they were moved to Guantanamo.

As of September 2008, seven military prosecutors have either resigned or requested reassignment because they viewed Guantanamo’s military commissions as unfair.

Eight deaths of prisoners have been reported while in custody – out of which 6 were suicides, 1 due to a heart attack and 1 to cancer.  The youngest person to commit suicide was Yasser Talal Al Zahrani, who was captured at 16 and died at age 21.

The federal court has prosecuted more than 400 terrorism suspects since 9/11.  Five people have been charged with planning the 9/11 attacks, but none of the alleged criminals have been brought to trial.

In 2011, the U.S. government spent $12 million in Guantanamo military commissions, and $70 million has been spent every year on the 89 prisoners who have been cleared for release but are still detained.

As of January 2012, Guantanamo still has 171 men imprisoned. Fourty-six prisoners will not be prosecuted because the U.S. government lacks evidence – but also will not be released because they are claimed to be too dangerous.