Bush 'Knew Gitmo Prisoners Were Innocent'

Hundreds of innocent men were imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld covered it up so that the news couldn't derail the war in Iraq and the war on terror, The Times of London reports. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, levied these charges in a signed declaration filed to support a Gitmo detainee's lawsuit. Most of his criticism was for the former vice president and secretary of Defense. Wilkinson wrote that Cheney and Rumsfeld knew that most of the 742 detainees initially sent to Guantánamo were innocent but thought it was "politically impossible to release them" because then "the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were." Wilkerson also said that Cheney "had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent... If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it." Wilkinson is the first senior member of the Bush administration to make such allegations. A spokesman for Bush declined to comment.