found dead in his cell.
He had threatened to commit suicide, and may have done so -- the results of an autopsy have not been released. And the NCIS is investigating his death. But whatever the actual cause of his death, it was an unnecessary death that should not have happened -- at least not at Gitmo.
Three years ago, an administrative panel had cleared Latif for release -- a decision that could not have been reached without the agreement of all of the intelligence services (who evidently did not consider him to be a danger to this country). He had also been cleared by a United States judge, who said accusations that he was connected to al-Queda were "unconvincing". Latif had also never been charged with any crime.
This all brings up a good question -- Why was he still in custody at Gitmo THREE YEARS LATER? The only excuse the government has come up with is that the Obama administration had appealed his release because they didn't want to send him back to the "unsettled" country of Yemen. That's simply not good enough. We are supposed to be a nation of laws, and we should not be holding people in prison without charges, especially after they are cleared for release, just because of the unsettled political situation in another country.
This was a death that need not have happened. And it is a death that must be laid at the feet of the Obama administration. He should have been released three years ago. But he is not the only one that is still being held without charges or proof that they pose any kind of danger to this country. It is time (actually way past the time) for the United States to finally live up to its reputation as a nation of laws -- and release those prisoners it has no intention of charging or trying in a court of law.