New York Times Turns Over Editorial Page to Suspected Terrorist

The New York Times has sunk to a new low in their quest to shut down Gitmo's terrorist training facility, this time by turning over their opinion page to a suspected terrorist.

Today's editorial page features an op-ed from Mourad Benchellali, a French national awaiting trial in France on terror charges. Benchellali's op-ed, titled "Detainees in Despair," claims that he was unjustly plucked from an outdoor cafe by Pakistani police, and held under brutal conditions at the Guantanamo Bay facility without reason or probable cause.

Benchellali writes:

I was seized by the Pakistani Army while having tea at a mosque shortly after I managed to cross the border. A few days later I was delivered to the United States Army: although I didn't know it at the time, I was now labeled an "enemy combatant." It did not matter that I was no one's enemy and had never been on a battlefield, let alone fought or aimed a weapon at anyone

Unfortunately for Benchellali, a major US newspaper had already extensively covered the very specific charges that he was facing in France. That paper -amazingly enough- was the New York Times.

Craig Smith reported in 2004:

...for the last six months Mr. Benchellali has been in a high-security French prison along with his wife and two of his sons, all accused of helping to plot a chemical attack in the style of Al Qaeda in Europe. A third son has just been released from the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, one of four Frenchmen handed over to the French authorities this week.

The family's journey from yearning immigrants to alleged Islamic militants - accused of harboring a makeshift laboratory in their suburban Lyon apartment, where one son was said to have been trying to make biological and chemical bombs - is an extreme but still emblematic manifestation of a quiet crisis spreading through Europe's growing Arab underclass.

Mourad Benchellali was the "third son" referenced in the article.

Interesting. The Times, in their rush to potray Gitmo as a 21st century Gulag, gives primo space on their op-ed page to a man who they felt was wrongly imprisoned by the Bush administration, only to later learn that they had already printed the most damning indictment of Benchellali on record.