Friday, May 19, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Tinpot leader...

As my good friend The Talking Dog said to me the other day "...we are condemned to live in interesting times." Indeed we are. I naively thought that Guantanamo would be the grand symbol of the demise of our democracy but truth be told we should never under estimate the American people. 
Read More from The Talking Dog and follow his rant:

I'm coming into the party a bit late, so I'll jump in with this piece noting that top Congressional Democrats are calling for a report on Jeff Sessions role in the clusterfuck known as the Jim Comey firing. Thing is, right now we not only have Dick Nixon, without the brains or experience, but on coke, in the Oval Office, but an entire party of treasonous enablers whose sole concern is that they can get right wing judges and policies and more tax cuts for the rich. They (Paul and Mitch, and your committee chairmen, I mean YOU) don't give two shits about the fact that a hostile foreign power has undertaken to interfere in the entire gigantic project known as democracy in the West, through the simple expedient of computer hacking and other activity designed to selectively disrupt elections (though, fortunately, so far at least, only English speaking countries have been stupid enough to actually fall for it.)
And so here we are. This President, thus far, has sacked three high profile officials (former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara and now former FBI Director James Comey) whose portfolios included investigation of his own campaign, its officials (including presumably himself) and their involvement- up to and including deliberate collusion- with Russia and its operatives in order to at least disrupt and quite possibly to change the outcome of the recent national election. And Comey was ignominiously sacked for made up cause, notwithstanding that Comey's own actions probably handed Trump the presidency.Even still it seems, Comey was taken aback by a demand for a pledge of personal loyalty, not to the Constitution, but to der Führer. The relevant movie, it seems, not being All the President's Men, but simply, The Godfather, as nothing short of kissing the Don's (funny that) ring would suffice.

WTF indeed---- THE REST IS HERE.

Want to follow the dog? His tweet is here.

And for more on the Tinpot Leader go to Intercept here.

And for you young kids, "What is a tinpot dictator?" According to wikipedia
  1. An autocratic ruler with little political credibility, but with self-delusions of grandeur.

Monday, May 8, 2017

More on Life After Guantanamo....

Now a look at the men who were from Russia but left Russia because of persecution....
Read their story here.

Monday, May 1, 2017

100 days of Trump at Guantanamo's Helm....

Nothing good has happened to the 41 men still being held at Guantanamo.... but I guess the good news is that nothing worse has happened to those men. It is status quo. I for one do not know how those men can maintain anything like a sense of sanity with the lunatic in the white house.

Truthout has more on the first 100 days of Trump and Guantanamo here.

Gitmo by the numbers....

As per the last update on March 8, no new positive decisions, the PRB has:

  • declined to grant new hearings on file review to two detainees (ISNs 708, 1460).
  • conducted full second hearings for Saifullah Paracha (ISN 1094) on March 21 and for Haroon al Afghani (ISN 3148) on March 28.
  • conducted initial file reviews for six detainees (ISNs 1456, 1461, 10016, 10019, 10023, 10029).
  • conducted a second file review for one detainee (ISN 569).

The prison population remains at 41:

  • 5 are cleared, 26 are awaiting clearance, and 10 are in the military commission system (of those, 7 are in “active” “trial” proceedings while 3 have been “convicted”).

    • Of the 5 cleared, 1 (20.0%) is a Yemeni and 4 are non-Yemenis. 
    • Of the 26 awaiting clearance, 10 (38.5%) are Yemenis and 16 are non-Yemenis.
    • Of the 10 in the military commission system, 3 (30.0%) are Yemenis and 7 are non-Yemenis.

PRB Data

The PRB has approved for transfer 38 of the 64 detainees for whom it has issued decisions (59.4%).

  • 38 detainees have been cleared.  36 of these men have been released; 2 remain. 
    • 31 detainees were cleared after a first hearing.
      • 29 have been released; 2 remain.
    •   7 detainees were denied after a first hearing, granted a second hearing via file review, and cleared after the second hearing.
      • All 7 have been released.
  • 26 detainees were denied clearance and are in the file review/second hearing process.
    •   4 detainees are awaiting decision on a second full hearing (ISNs 1017, 1094, 1457, 3148).
    •   1 detainee is awaiting decision on a second file review (ISN 569).
    •   9 detainees are awaiting decision on initial file review (ISNs 1456, 1461, 10016, 10017, 10019, 10021, 10022, 10023, 10029).
    •   3 detainees were denied after a second full hearing, and are awaiting further file review (ISNs 27, 28, 841).
    •   1 detainee is awaiting a fourth file review (ISN 242).
    •   8 detainees are awaiting a second file review (ISNs 63, 682, 685, 708, 1460, 1453, 1463, 10025).


For more details, see the PRB web pages tracking detainees’ initial hearings, file reviews, and second hearings.

h/o to fellow Gitmo attorney Brian Foster for keeping track of all of this.

Friday, April 21, 2017

AND WHAT ABOUT THAT DETAINEE LIBRARY???

For many years I tried to explore the so-called "35,000 library books" for the detainees. One funny thing is that the number has not changed over the last 7 or 8 years, despite the fact that books are regularly donated to the library. The other funny thing is that the books are not generally available to the men. Although my information is a little out dated it still appears that a small number of books are rotated through to the men. If I send a book I can notify my client and he can ask for it. But if I don't notify him he of course will not know the book and will not see the book.
And the standards for what books can be made available at the "detainee library" are crazy. We can't have the men reading "The Gulag Archipelago"  (too much similarity to the soviet system) or "The Trial"- (again too many parallels to our system which allows the men to be held for unknown crimes.)
But it is quite OK to have the Harry Potter series.

Well anyway, someone has tried to figure out the warped and secretive library for the men at Guantanamo. You can read about it here. And maybe the books that make it to the library pass this test "the library only allowed materials that were “culturally sensitive, non-extremist in nature, and generally non-controversial.”

But mostly it seems that the people doing figuring out which books the men can read and which are too "controversial"... havent read the books themselves.

Medical perils for Gitmo Attorneys

I reported on this last year- a number of the attorneys working on the commission cases have been diagnosed with cancer- three have died. It seems that the location of the housing and offices for the attorneys is in close proximity to a toxic waste dump.
Now several of the attorneys have sued. You can read about the lawsuit here and review the complaint here.

The military has refused to do a legitimate study of the contaminated area because- the military like my president- doesn't make mistakes and should not be questioned.

No one should have to risk their life while representing these men.

Friday, March 31, 2017

TALKING DOG INTERVIEWS JEFF KAYE

Earlier this week I posted a review of Jeffery Kaye's book "Cover-up at Guantanamo." Now the talking dog has interviewed Jeff.

read the interview here.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A MUST READ...

Jeffrey Kaye is a psychologist in private practice in California. . Over the years our paths have crossed as he investigated and wrote about Guantanamo- torture and interrogation abuses. Now he has a book out- which you can get as an ebook or in paper: "Cover up at Guantanamo: The NCIS investigation into the "suicides" of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri."

The book is as riveting as it is disturbing. Many of us have looked into the questionable deaths of the three men that died together in 2006 but sparse attention has been paid to these two men. Now with Jeff's book their deaths raise more questions than answers-- and as usual with the military-- the cover up runs deep. We will probably never know the full story surrounding any of these deaths but it is not for Jeff's lack of trying.

You can read more about the book at Guantanamotruth.com which also has many of the underlying documents that Jeff uncovered.

You can also visit Jeff's Blog: Invictus

You can order the book here.

 As we monitor the new war crimes by our current lunatic in the white house we cannot lose focus of the war crimes that preceded him.

My thanks to Jeff for sticking with this investigation and helping to spread the truth.

Friday, March 24, 2017

GORSUCH DOESN'T LIKE ME AND 'MY KIND'

It seems that Trumps new supreme court nominee doesn't like alot of things about the attorneys who stepped to the plate to represent the men at Guantanamo- not only did he disparage us back when we started our representation in the 2004-1005 time period- but he claimed that we were engaged in a campaign of fabricating abuse and torture. He apologized this week for some of the comments that he made... but not all of them. He has not apologized for his comments claiming that we (the attorneys representing the men at Gitmo) were fabricating the abuse and torture of our clients. I guess that is not too surprising given his role in both the abuse and torture of those men but he is certainly not a man that I want to see in the supreme court.
Read more here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gitmo Petition in the Supreme Court

One of the men who has long been before the military commission has filed a Petition with the Supreme Court asking to have his case moved to the federal court system -- for many reasons-- including the torture he was subjected to over the years while in CIA and military custody.

This article explains the Petition and also links to the actual documents- some of the documents are redacted but the Petition itself seems to be fairly readable.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trumps Supreme Court Nominee....

Just in case anyone really thought that Trump made a mistake and appointed someone who would be fair and just.... Read this.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

TRUMP SPEAKS....

Or I guess more accurately-- Trump Tweets....
Up until now Trump has been pretty quiet about Guantanamo. That ended in the wee hours of the morning today.

"  122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision! "

So where does one start when you are dealing with a lunatic? I guess with the facts.

First, the total number of men released by the Obama administration is 161. For Trump to suggest that 80% of the men released by Obama have "returned" to the battlefield is ludicrous.

Second, 96% of the men held at Guantanamo were never on a battlefield.

Finally (for now- because I will get back to this) what my military considers to be the "battlefield" is an ever expanding view- men who publicly condemn and protest my government and its policies are considered to be on the battlefield. The battlefield is public opinion.

Trump is a dangerous person but unfortunately he is not the only dangerous person in this here country of mine. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Torture Summay in Graphic Novel...

The 2014 torture report (summary) released by the Senate Intelligence Committee is a 500-plus-page denunciation of the CIA’s use of EITs, or enhanced interrogation techniques, during George W. Bush’s presidency. Now Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, the pair behind the best-selling graphic novel adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report, have illustrated the torture memo in powerful, disturbing detail. Here’s an excerpt from their haunting book.
Take a look here.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Could one of the remaining Algerians be on his way home?

There are two Algerians still at Guantanamo- one is Mr. Barhoumi who was cleared for release and set to be sent home but unfortunately the Obama administration couldn't get their collective act together prior to the end of Obama's administration. The other is my client. Both were arrested the same day at the same guesthouse. Mr. Barhoumi was cleared for release but my client was not. The answer to the question as to why my client was not cleared would require the reading of tea leaves or maybe a ouiji board. Neither man had any ties to any terrorist activity or organization. Both were held all of these years because they were staying at the same guest house in Pakistan where another individual- a person our government thought (incorrectly) was a terrorist- was also staying. (makes you want to check the guestlist when staying at B&Bs!) Anyway, there are rumors that the Algerian government is in talks about one of the two men- if I were to guess I would guess Barhoumi since he has been cleared...but I can always hope maybe my client is being discussed too!

More here.