A little more on the Mayer piece. The reason she concludes that the government’s efforts to prevent another terrorist attack have “achieved very limited results” is the following:
Not a single terror suspect has been tried before a military commission. Only ten of the more than seven hundred men who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo have been formally charged with any wrongdoing. Earlier this month, three detainees committed suicide in the camp. Germany and Denmark, along with the European Union and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, have called for the prison to be closed, accusing the United States of violating internationally accepted standards for humane treatment and due process. The [legal strategy] has also come under serious challenge from the judicial branch. Two years ago, in Rasul v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled against the administration’s contention that the Guantanamo prisoners were beyond the reach of the U.S. court system and could not challenge their detention. And this week the Court is expected to deliver a decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a case that questions the legality of the military commissions.
Now, if the administration’s goal was to earn plaudits from Germany, Denmark, the EU, the UN, and other international bodies, then its policies have certainly “achieved very limited results.” But Mayer wrote that its intention was “to preempt future attacks before they materialized.” None of us knows what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next hour. But so far, at least, hasn’t the administration done a bit better than Mayer suggests?