Didnt President Bush in

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Didn’t President Bush, in a much ballyhoed press conference in September, declare that the CIA’s secret prisoners were being transferred to Gitmo for trial by military tribunals? That is what he said, right?

So what’s this about?

A suspected al Qaeda leader, accused of being involved in September 11 and planning the 2004 Madrid train bombings, has been imprisoned in a secret U.S. jail for the past year, Spain’s El Pais newspaper reported on Sunday.

Mustafa Setmarian, 48, a Syrian with Spanish citizenship, was captured in Pakistan in October 2005 and is held in a prison operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Pakistani and European security service officials told El Pais.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Spain declined to comment on the report.

Setmarian’s 2005 capture was reported in May of this year after the United States put a $5 million bounty on the head of the alleged founder of al Qaeda’s Spanish network.

A photograph of the red-haired Setmarian has been removed from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Intelligence’s most-wanted Web page.

Not that making it to Gitmo guarantees any sort of due process, as this NYT piece today makes clear:

Mr. Ginco, a college student living in the United Arab Emirates, had gone to Afghanistan in 2000 after running away from his strict Muslim father. He was soon imprisoned by the Taliban, and tortured by operatives of Al Qaeda until, he said, he falsely confessed to being a spy for Israel and the United States.

But rather than help Mr. Ginco return home, American soldiers detained him again. Nearly five years later, he remains in the United States military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — in part, it appears, on the strength of a propaganda videotape made by his torturers.

Sigh.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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