According to the Associated Press, Britain has agreed to pay millions of dollars to former Guantanamo detainees, rather than risk exposing intelligence sources and methods.
It’s important to note here that these civil suits were successful based merely on allegations that the former detainees were tortured or abused. One of the more well known plaintiffs in the civil suit was Binyam Mohamed, a former detainee who Tom Joscelyn points out admitted to receiving training provided by al Qaeda at the al Farouq training camp, and met with Abu Zubaydah, Jose Padilla, and other top terrorists. If the U.K. government is willing to make a millionaire out of this guy, who knows what will happen in future cases:
The payout now also raises the question of whether other detainees outside of Britain could look to the settlement as a way of pushing pending lawsuits forward even if the British government has made no admission of guilt
Arguably, this was the better choice when one considers how much it would have cost the government to go to court. Those costs can be measured in time, loss of intelligence officers, and dollars. According to the story:
Government officials had estimated that the court cases could last 5 years and cost up to 50 million pounds ($80 million) in legal fees. Officials said about 100 intelligence officials had already been removed from regular duties to work on preparing up to 500,000 documents to be used in court.
This is a serious amount of money to be sure, and there is a risk of losses. But does it justify the certainty associated with paying money to Mohamed who according to CSRT transcripts and memos proposed that al Qaeda should attack subway trains in the United States? Does it justify rewarding a person who was instructed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to target high rise buildings in the U.S. in a natural gas bomb plot? Somehow I don’t see this as a just result, regardless of what abuses Mohamed may or may not have suffered.
Lawfare—making millionaires out of terrorists.