Monday, July 25, 2016

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian

As the Guantánamo prison approaches its 16th year, there's renewed media interest in miscarriages of justice, and individual Dreyfuses held at America's Devil's Island.  
The Boston Review has an article on the long-suffering Mohammedou Slahi, author of a bestselling Gitmo narrative, and Politico has a piece on the CIA-tortured Abu Zubaydah, a man who's been waiting seven years for his habeas hearing. Pleadings recently unsealed in the DC habeas include Zubaydah's own accounts of his torture.  
CIA torture has been further illuminated by the disclosure of shocking advice by the agency's nameless medical staff, here and here, and the release of the agency's chilling "applied research" contracts with the "enhanced interrogation" psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.
It's damning evidence against health professionals who would fit neatly in a Nuremberg dock - alongside the Bush Gang's torture lawyers.
The Pentagon's drumhead Court of Military Commission Review has allowed the Limberg MV charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri to go forward in Nashiri's military commission trial. The offence, which resulted in the death of a Bulgarian crewman on a Malaysian-chartered, French-flagged tanker in international waters, had no connection with any war, or indeed, with the United States.
Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri meanwhile have cases pending in the European Court of Human Rights against Lithuania and Romania for hosting their CIA torture camps, more here

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fair Trials Not Needed..... UPDATED

The continuing saga of the circus at the military commission at Guantanamo has this accusation from the defense- the government in Khalid Shaikh Mohammad's case conspired with the chief judge to destroy crucial evidence of the torture that Mohammad was subjected to. They have asked the judge to recuse himself from ruling on the motion- since he is the one accused of conspiring with the military but the judge has refused. Read more here...


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Slahi- author of the "Guantanamo Diary" has been cleared for release

I have written about Mr. Slahi on several occasion and his heavily redacted "diary" was a best seller. I am now happy to report that Mr. Slahi has been cleared for release.
This press release from his attorneys explains more about the efforts made by his attorneys and others to obtain his release.
Let us hope he will actually be released soon.

The prison population remains at 76: 31 are cleared, 35 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 31 cleared, 22 (70.97%) are Yemenis and 9 are non-Yemenis. 

Of the 35 awaiting clearance, 15 are Yemenis and 20 are non-Yemenis.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The connection between Saudi Arabia and 9-11-UPDATED

Finally the 28 pages that have been withheld for years has been released- showing the connection between the Saudi government and the 9-11 attacks. It is hard to know who my government was trying to protect.....
read about those 28 pages here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

3 detainnees released....

One to Italy. More here.

Two to Serbia. More here.

76 detainees remain.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy 5th of July.....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Country Paid Millions to Countries Willing To Torture

The European Court of Human Rights is hearing testimony right now against the country of Romania for its roll in allowing the CIA to set up shop and torture with the Romanian governments knowledge and consent. Read more here and here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Talking Dog interviews Rebecca Gordon

In another important interview the Talking Dog interviews Rebecca Gordon author of  American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who  Should Stand Trial for Post 9-11 War Crimes.

Read the interview here.

More Details on Abu Zubayah's Torture

Last week the CIA released more documents surrounding the torture of Abu Zubaydah- the man my government wrongly thought was a major Al-Qaeda leader.... so they waterboarded him almost 100 times- kept him in a coffin like box and other forms of torture that have long been considered illegal, immoral and war crimes. This article supposedly links to the documents but I will just warn you that the documents would not load for me- either the CIA has thought twice about making the documents available or they have changed the link just to cause trouble. It looks like this is the latest link to the documents.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Talking Dog interviews Wesley Kendall.....part 1

Wesley Kendall is a Law Lecturer at the University of the South Pacific. Dr. Kendall holds a J.D. from Texas Southern University, an M.A. in Political Science and Government from the University of Missouri Kansas City and a Ph.D. in Political Science and Government from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is author of The U.S. Death Penalty and Diplomacy and Language of Terror, and most recently, From Gulag to Guantanamo: Political, Social and Economic Evolutions of Mass Incarceration. On June 9, 2016, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Kendall by email exchange.

Read part one of the interview here.

Catching up....

A few things have been going on over the past few weeks while I have been tied up with other things.....

First let me congratulate Col. Morris Davis on settling his case with the Library of Congress. Moe and I have had our differences over the years but when push came to shove he stuck with the constitution and against the politics of the "double legal standard" of using the courts for some "terrorist prosecutions" and military tribunals for others. After speaking out Moe was fired from the job he took after retiring from the military (if you do not know that part of his background here is a nice little article to read to get you started.)
More about Moe's settlement here.

And then there is this.... "The judge overseeing the premiere military tribunal at Guantánamo Bayeffectively conspired with the prosecution to destroy evidence relevant to defending the accused architect of the 9/11 attacks, according to a scathing court document." 
Read the rest here.

The coward- former attorney general Eric Holder now admits (now that he has stepped down from the position he held where he could actually have done something) that American Hero Edward Snowden performed a public service by releasing the documents that triggered the debate about our surveillance state. Of course even after admitting the important role played by Snowden the asshole still thinks Snowden should be punished. 

Of course when the CIA destroys critical documents showing it's role in torture no one in government would dare think of holding anyone responsible nevertheless punish someone. Read more on Snowden's tweet about the CIA's destruction of documents here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Concerns about carcinogens continues at Guantanamo.....

The military continues to contend that the site where the military and civilian lawyers live and work at Guantanamo are safe- but concerns about the number of individuals who have been stricken with cancer continue. It seems that the site whether the attorneys and support staff are housed in on an abandoned airfield and is rife with chemical contamination. The military says not to worry.... however many are worried.
Read more here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


But The Guardian reports that maybe-- just maybe-- the UN Special Rapporteur on torture may be allowed to visit Guantanamo and visit the "secret" camp where the detainees who are subject to the military commissions are held. Of course he will not be allowed to interview the men.....

Read more here.

Michael Ratner's Army- UPDATED

David Cole writes a nice tribute to Michael Ratner in this piece in the NY Review of Books. Although I disagree with David's conclusion that the men who remain at Guantanamo are no longer subject to torture- and I disagree that Obama has issued an extensive plan to close Guantanamo, I whole heartedly agree that Michael Ratner has had a powerful impact on a number of attorneys- and I am one of those attorneys. Like those attorneys that are mentioned in David's article the work I have done for my Guantanamo clients has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating and it has changed my life and my career.
I am proud to be a member of Michael Ratner's army and if I and the other attorneys touched by Michael can instill that same quest for justice that Michael instilled in me with the Guantanamo litigation his army will continue to grow.

Michael Ratner's memorial page can be found here.