Thanks in part to Seattle attorneys, Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, will be released from Guantanamo Bay in the next few days and sent to his native Yemen to serve his final month in custody.
In an August war crimes trial, a panel of six U.S. military officers reached a split verdict in his case, clearing
Hamdan of conspiracy charges but convicting him of supporting
terrorism. Though he faced a possible life sentence, he wound up with, effectively, a four-month term.
who say they were compelled by a sense of duty and democracy. They won sympathy for Hamdan who, they said, had indeed once been bin Laden's $200-a-month driver, but not a terrorist; he even aided in the U.S. search for the al-Qaeda leader.
Besides Hamdan, 100 of the 250 remaining detainees at the Guantánamo detention center, which president-elect Obama intends to close, are Yemeni. "We hope," a Yemeni embassy spokesperson told the NY Times, "this will be a positive first step to the transfer of the remaining detainees."