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March 4, 2006
Challenging The Gitmo Study

Earlier today I posted about the release of documentation of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay and a study performed by one of the attorneys representing two of the accused terrorists. Mark and Joshua Denbeaux had a group of Seton Hall law students review more than 5,000 pages of material about the 517 detainees left at Gitmo and provided an analysis which I noted in the post. That analysis raised questions about the necessity of detaining some of these individuals.

In a quick review, I read through about a dozen Summaries of Evidence. In each one, the government presented at least an argument for some act of hostile intent as shown by the presence of Paragraph 3b. According to the study, I should have noticed at least a few without such allegations. That's not a large enough sample with which to draw a conclusion, but it will take weeks at this rate to review them all. I also found that Paragraph 3c has some pretty relevant data on the status of the detainee and often makes a better case for detention than 3b. For instance, the SOE for one detainee where 3b only indicated that the detainee stayed at a guest house -- a key gripe in the Denbeaux study -- notes in 3c that the detainee admitted going to Afghanistan to receive training in order to fight in Chechnya.

In order for a study to have credibility, the results have to be replicable. That means that another group would have to spend the time to review and tally the same data that the Denbeauxs analyzed and determine if their numbers add up the same. Unfortunately, that sounds a little ambitious for one blogger. However, my good friend King Banaian at SCSU Scholars suggested to me that a blogswarm review -- such as the one that Hugh Hewitt ran for the review of the John Roberts documentation -- would work quickly through the stack of paperwork presented by the DoD.

What I propose is to have bloggers volunteer to review the data in the PDF files at the DoD link. We need to tally the SOEs to see how many include allegations of hostile acts, the type of affiliation for each detainee, and whether the SOE included mitigating information (found in Paragraph 4). Rather than look just for 3b, we need to review all of Paragraph 3 for the complete context of the threat presented by each detainee, at least according to the SOE.

If you are interested in participating, send me an e-mail with the subject "Gitmo project". I have four large PDFs that need reviewing and tallying. I would also like to have the 53 sets of CSRT documentation reviewed for any interesting tidbits that either support or oppose detention of the detainees involved. I will have a small Excel file for the calculations involved that I will send to each volunteer, or a format for a text file for anyone who doesn't have Excel.

I will list the bloggers and their links who volunteer for this project on this post. Let's see what we can find out in our own review and determine whether that matches up with the Denbeaux study.

UPDATE: A big thanks to Glenn for linking back to this post. I have a number of volunteers already, but we can use more to go through the CSRT sets. I'm putting together the instructions for the project to those who have volunteered so far. I will have multiple passes through the SOEs to ensure we get an accurate review.

UPDATE II: We have a number of volunteers now, and the effort should get well under way today. There are three types of files at DefenseLink -- ARB Transcripts, ARB Factors (which have the SOEs), and the CSRTs. In order to ensure that we mitigate any bias, the SOEs will be reviewed by three bloggers each and their results averaged.

Remember, we're not here to prove a study wrong -- we're here to see if the numbers are replicable and all of the information got included in the original study.

The CQ Blogswarm Study Group consists of these volunteers:

ARB Factors, Vol 1: Shawn Beilfuss, Bob L, Laura Curtis (Dummocrats and Gitmo Cookbook)

ARB Factors, Vol 2: Jon from Canada, Dixie68, Slightly Loony at JamulBlog

ARB Factors, Vol 3: Thomas Morrissey (no relation!), Rodney Graves, Freeper Bad Company

ARB Transcripts #1: Russ Emerson
ARB Transcripts #2: Jason
ARB Transcripts #3: Gary Gross
ARB Transcripts #4: CQ reader Ed

CSRTs --

Set 1: Jay
Set 2: CQ reader BD
Set 3: Arthur Kimes
Set 4: Christian Johnson
Set 5: Kaitian
Set 6: Anonymous2
Set 7: KGS59
Set 8: Duke DeLand
Set 9: Stephen St. Onge
Set 10: Texas Cowgirl
Set 11: David Chapelle (MD NG Ret.)
Set 12: Yetanotherjohn
Set 13: GM Roper
Set 14: Antarctic Lemur
Set 15: Robert Byers
Set 16: Anonymous1
Set 17: Richard Campbell
Set 18: Weight of Glory
Set 19: Mary Beth Buckner
Set 20: Ric James
Set 21: Streiff
Set 22: David Zincavage
Set 23: Greg McComas
Set 24: Pete Peterson
Set 25: Nathan Bradford
Set 26: Suitably Flip
Set 27: St. Wendeler
Set 28: Dafydd ab Hugh
Set 29: Thomas Morrissey
Set 30: Levi from Queens
Set 31: Mick Stockinger
Set 32: Gina Cobb
Set 33: Matt Adinaro
Set 34: Allen Thorpe
Set 35: Rodney Graves
Set 36: Rick Calvert
Set 37: David Zincavage
Set 38: Pierre LeGrand
Set 39: Suitably Flip
Set 40: David Zincavage
Set 41: Kane Rogers
Set 42: Crusader Rabbit
Set 43: Fred Fry
Set 44: Commander Salamander
Set 45: Katie Carroll
Set 46:
Set 47: Rodney Graves
Set 48: Thomas Morrissey & Rodney Graves
Set 49: Thomas Morrissey
Set 50: Thomas Morrissey
Set 51: Chuck Allen
Set 52: Chuck Allen
Set 53: Chuck Allen
Set 54: Streiff

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 4, 2006 6:12 PM

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Tracked on March 4, 2006 10:53 PM


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