Speaking of detainees

On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the military is taking a tougher stance at what Rush Limbaugh likes to call “Club Gitmo”:

As the first detainees began moving last week into Guantánamo’s modern, new detention facility, Camp 6, the military guard commander stood beneath the high, concrete walls of the compound, looking out on a fenced-in athletic yard.

The cells at Camp 6, which began to house its first prisoners last week. Following a riot at Guantánamo in May, the facility has been retrofitted to make it more difficult to attack guards and commit suicide.

The yard, where the detainees were to have played soccer and other sports, had been part of a plan to ease the conditions under which more than 400 men are imprisoned here, nearly all of them without having been charged. But that plan has changed.

“At this point, I just don’t see using that,” the guard commander, Col. Wade F. Dennis, said.

After two years in which the military sought to manage terrorism suspects at Guantánamo with incentives for good behavior, steady improvements in their living conditions and even dialogue with prison leaders, the authorities here have clamped down decisively in recent months.

The reason was simple:

The commander of the Guantánamo task force, Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., said the tougher approach also reflected the changing nature of the prison population, and his conviction that all of those now held here are dangerous men. “They’re all terrorists; they’re all enemy combatants,” Admiral Harris said in an interview.

He added, “I don’t think there is such a thing as a medium-security terrorist.”

The article goes on to inform us:

[Shortly after Admiral Harris’s remarks, another 15 detainees were sent home to Saudi Arabia, where they were promptly returned to their families.]

So they’re all terrorists, except for those 15 (or 16 — see below) Saudis. Oops, and 18 more, as we learn from today’s Times:

The Defense Department said Sunday that a total of 18 prisoners who had been held at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had been sent to their home nations over the weekend, reducing the captive population at the base to about 395.

Aside from seven Afghan prisoners, who arrived in Kabul on Saturday, the group included six sent to Yemen, three to Kazakhstan and one each to Libya and Bangladesh, the Pentagon said in a news release.

So either those guys were hard core terrorists who have just been released to once again ply their trade, or they weren’t and just spent four years as involuntary guests of Uncle Sam.

Oh, also:

Sixteen (sic) Saudi Arabian prisoners were sent home earlier in the week, and another 85 prisoners of various nationalities have been designated for transfer to their countries, some for continued detention and some for outright release.

But the rest — they’re all terrorists.