Thursday, May 16, 2024

Fellow former Guantanamo refugee writes about Saeed

 Mansoor Adayfi was also held at Guantanamo for many years. He has been a voice for many of the men-

and he has written about Saeed and his plight at the hands of the Algerians after the U.S. State department

dropped the ball on Saeed's case and left him unprotected and imprisoned by the Algerians.

You can support Mansoor by purchasing and listening to his audible collection "letters from Guantanamo"


Tuesday, May 14, 2024


 Shortly after Saeed was convicted of being a member of some unknown terrorist group we learned this information about the men tortured at the black sites. The bottom line is not difficult to understand- these men, like Saeed, have life time trauma from their experience. And now the Algerian government, with the help of the U.S. State department, is inflicting more trauma on Saeed.

I am learning more details of the so-called trial in Algeria and it is heart wrenching. Saeed was forced to relive his trauma and of course nothing he said was believed. 

In the end he had a good attorney that worked hard for him- this of course was not the court appointed attorney. The court appointed attorney did nothing for him and offered him no counsel. 

The attorney that handled the trial (and will handle the appeal) was an attorney who was located by an Algerian attorney in Canada. 

I cannot practice law in Algeria, but I have been doing everything I can to help his attorneys. And I will continue to do so. 

But what the fuck State department? You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Saeed's trial

 My client was convicted by the Algerian Court of terrorism today. They sentenced him to 3 years in prison and took him away. The U.S. state department is responsible for this.

Trial Day for Saeed


The State department. Or I guess I should say, my state department, remains incommunicado in regard to the mess it has caused my Guantanamo client. They fucked up the transfer of Saeed by not getting assurances that they are willing to enforce. And I know that if they raised the issue of the assurances the Algerians would surely back down in prosecuting Saeed.

So now Saeed, who spent more than 22 years at Guantanamo without any charges lodged against him and then another seven months in an Algerian prison with charges pending based on unfounded accusations (proved by the fact that he was never charged)  by the United States, now faces a trial today. The hypocrisy is actually staggering but then so is everything about this nightmare for my client.

I prepared an affidavit for my client’s trial since I am unable to go to Algeria for the trial. In preparing the affidavit I reviewed my cleared records (unclassified) and I was reminded just how dishonest my government has been about this man. And they knew they were being dishonest. On the eve of his Habeas Corpus hearing back in 2010 the government changed its entire theory because I was able to show the original theory was false. No problem there. Just change the facts! And the “justice” department played along. And the Judge could have cared less but it is hard to imagine.

And so now I wait to see what the Algerian court will do to my client.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Talking Dog on a very bad 2024...


2024 Keeps Giving

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve posted anything. So we’ll post today, on this, what would be the 87th birthday of TD Dad of blessed memory. Of course, there’s an explanation for the long reticence, besides overall existential angst associated with a planet insanely and dangerously out of balance and, despite his “legal troubles,” the probable coming restoration of Mafia Grover Cleveland, which is of a very personal nature. Unfortunately, the Loquacious Pup is suffering from a rather serious illness, from which we have every confidence that, surrounded with unbelievably wonderful and generous friends and her loved ones and with her own resilience, she will make a full recovery, but we expect her battle with this illness to take most of the rest of 2024. Along the way, by which I mean last weekend, we lost one of our two beloved cats, who finally succumbed to his own longstanding battle with an ironically similar illness, just after his own 15th birthday. That this painful event happened during the Loquacious Pup’s illness is just part of the ongoing horror show that I’ve certainly come to associate with 2024.

From our usual beat, Candace gives us depressing news coming out of North Africa, to wit, that her longstanding client, Saeed Bakhouche of Algeria and formerly of 20 plus years at GTMO, will be put on trial on murky “terrorism” charges in Algeria this Sunday May 12th (Mothers Day in the USA, FWIW).

Read the rest here.

More on my Algerian client

 I will have more on my client and his upcoming trial shortly. However, today the U.N. released this press release:  

GENEVA (9 May 2024) – UN experts* warned today that form(Ier Guantánamo Bay detainee Saeed Bakhouche, now facing terrorism charges in Algeria, would not get a fair trial and risked renewed arbitrary detention.

In April 2022, the United States cleared Bakhouche for release from U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay and transferred him to Algeria in April 2023, under assurances that he would be humanely treated.

“Mr. Bakhouche was arbitrarily detained at the U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay for over 20 years and tortured in U.S. custody,” the experts said. “He was immediately arrested on arrival in Algeria, detained incommunicado and de facto outside the protection of the law, threatened in interrogation and denied legal representation.”

Algeria released Bakhouche in October 2023, but he has been charged with terrorism offences under article 87bis of Algeria’s Penal Code and is due to be tried this month.

“Mr. Bakhouche’s detention and prosecution violate his rights to humane treatment and physical and mental health rehabilitation as a survivor of prolonged arbitrary detention and torture,” the experts said. “Such treatment severely aggravates his tenuous mental and physical state, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and re-traumatises him as a torture victim.”

“His unjustified prosecution, detention on arrival, and imminent likely detention on the basis of these charges contradicts express guarantees by the U.S. and Algeria that he would be humanely treated on return to Algeria”, the experts said. “The U.S. itself has called for repeal of article 87 for its excessive definition of terrorism”.

“Mr. Bakhouche’s prosecution would violate his fundamental right to fair trial”, the experts said. “After 20 years of arbitrary detention and as a victim of torture, Mr. Bakhouche could not receive a fair and public trial in a national security case in an Algerian court, where there is a lack of independent and adequate legal representation. Broader fair trial concerns include the overly broad definition of terrorism offences and the threat that he will be arbitrarily detained in prisons with documented risks of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” they said.

The experts called for the immediate reconsideration of the charges against Bakhouche, an end to the harmful cycle of re-victimisation and threats of further arbitrary detention, and the prompt protection of his rights, including adequate and tailored healthcare as promised by Algeria and the U.S. when he was repatriated.

“While we welcome the U.S.’ genuine efforts to end detention at Guantánamo Bay, resettling former detainees to their home countries or third countries is only the first step in ensuring long-term safe, humane, and rights respecting futures. Repatriation must not re-traumatise and deprive individuals like Mr. Bakhouche of their fundamental rights,” the experts said.

The experts have been in contact with the Governments of the Algeria and the United States of America on this case.

*The experts: Ben Saul, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism; Aua Baldé (Chairperson), Gabriella Citroni (Vice-Chairperson), Angkhana Neelapaijit, Grażyna Baranowska and Ana Lorena Delgadillo Pérez, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; and Margaret Satterthwaite, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests, please contact Michelle Erazo (

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts, please contact Dharisha Indraguptha (

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter: @UN_SPExperts

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

 ≈   ≈   ≈

Bush: limitations

George Bush had to be "re-elected" in 2004, to run out limitations on his first term's crimes before another government could prosecute them. 

He needn't have worried. Barack Obama let all the criminal limitations run, even the five-year ones. Obama's AG also obstructed most civil cases against companies who colluded in CIA crimes, e.g, Mohamed v Jeppesen Dataplan, the Boeing subsidiary that organised rendition flights for the torture program.

A few civil cases e.g, against the CIA contract psychologists who designed the torture regime, and the Pentagon's prison-based contractors, survived, as "state secrets" was not asserted. These cases were allowed to proceed to civil adjudication. 

Two of the contractor cases sprang from the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, a story that broke exactly 20 years ago

CACI International, who provided prison interrogators, and the Titan Corporation, who provided interpreters, were outed in 2004. In 2008, the Center for Constitutional Rights brought suit against both companies on behalf of affected prisoners. 

The two companies vigorously fought the cases, claiming the Pentagon was responsible and the contracts conferred immunity. 

In 2013, Titan (now L3 Technologies) settled for $5 million, but CACI fought on, in Al Shimari et al v CACI, claiming the Alien Tort Statute didn't apply. 

Judge Leonie Brinkema denied multiple dismissal motions, and late last year ruled the case could proceed. CCR has the background.

The case began in Virginia federal court on April 15. Although the evidence was damning, the case received little media notice - the trial date was the same as that originally set for Trump's NY fraud case. There was, however, reporting by Voice of IndonesiaAl Jazeerathe Guardian and LA Times. 

The jury deadlocked after eight days' deliberation, and sadly, the case ended in a mistrial


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The other trial...

 While all eyes are on a certain trial in NYC --my eyes are on a trial soon to start in Algeria. A trial where my Guantanamo client, Saeed Bakhouch, who was held for more than 20 years without charge at Guantanamo, is now facing charges relating to the false information that landed him at Guantanamo. I have now learned that the Algerians have threatened Saeed and coerced him to confess his alignment with Al Qaeda. This is a man who was tortured for years by the US government and now they have sent him home without properly insuring his safety.

When Saeed was released from Guantanamo I engaged in several discussions and emails with the US state department to make sure that the Algerians would not take steps to interfere with Saeed's release to his homeland. I was told everything was taken care of and Saeed would be fine. Now the state department washes its hands of anything to do with Saeed....claiming that the assurances given to the state department cannot be enforced.

I am trying to determine if I can get to Algeria for Saeed's trial next month but this too is a difficult endeavor.

more later.

Monday, April 1, 2024

NYT Guantanamo Podcast


I haven't listened yet but the New York Times has a podcase about Guantanamo. You can listen without a paywall.

h/o to neighbor Don for sending the link.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian


Courtroom capers 

Trump ... Looking for the cash bond ... Lenders likely to be stiffed ... Supreme Court bends over for Trump ... Novel arguments for immunity ... Idiocy has its appeal ... From Washington, Roger Fitch reports 

"I often say Al Capone, he was one of the greatest of all time, if you like criminals" - Donald Trump 

"Trump represents the culmination of gangster Gemeinschaft" - John Ganz

The first criminal prosecution of a former US president is about to begin, briefly delayed by the late production of federal court documents that Trump subpoenaed in January.

The defendant has a sordid history, and the NY trial concerns hush-money paid to a prostitute before the 2016 election; Trump's co-conspirator, Michael Cohen, has already been convicted and served time.

Trump's trial will be about election influence, an attempt to corrupt a presidential election.

Clearly, Judge Juan Merchan has Trump's measure: one pre-trial order requires jury anonymity, in light of the "likelihood of bribery, jury tampering, or of physical injury or harassment of juror(s)".

Another is a comprehensive gag order against Trump's endless insults and harassment of court witnesses, prosecutors and jurors.

NY federal judge Lewis Kaplan also ordered anonymous juries and a gag rule, in the writer Jean Carroll's successful civil cases against Trump. After the second Carroll verdict, Kaplan thanked the jurors for their service, and recommended they never tell anyone they had been jurors, for the rest of their lives.

This is New York. They know Donald Trump. 

Moreover, the Times added, with MAGA threats:

"The intimidation is systemic and ubiquitous, an acknowledged tactic in the playbook of the Trump right that flows all the way down from the violent fantasies of Donald Trump himself. It is rare to encounter a public-facing Trump critic who hasn't faced threats and intimidation." 

≈   ≈   ≈


Monday, March 25, 2024

Support for the uncharged men still at Guantanamo

 My last posting was about support for the men that have been released from Guantanamo but still suffering. My last client was released just about a year ago and although he is now at home with his family the continued struggle is real. Thank you for any support you are able to provide to Saeed and the other men.

This post is about the 16 men still at Guantanamo who have never been charged with a crime. These men have been languishing for up to 23 years. Waiting to be released.  There suffering is also very real. The attorneys, like me, who have represented men at the base continue to provide support to those men- especially during Ramadan.

Here is your way to help:

We need your support to give Ramadan gifts to the men still at Guantanamo (those who are not charged). While the Ramadan gift packages cannot make up for continued imprisonment, they do bring comfort and let the men know they are not completely forgotten. The gift package for each man includes zamzam water, tahini, halawa, dates, pastries, sweets, coffee (and similar food items), perfume, shoes or sandals, a thobe and a shirt.

You can make a tax-deductible donation here. If you prefer to use Zelle, the email is, and please include contact information so your contribution can be acknowledged. Checks can be made out to Healing and Recovery after Trauma and sent to 2300 18th St NW, Unit 21074, Washington DC 20009. 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Guantanamo Survivors Fund

Just reminding everyone that the men who have been freed from Guantanamo continue to suffer. Most cannot find work and depend on the generosity of all of us. 

Please give if you can:  

As you know, the Guantanamo Survivors Fund raises money to help meet the needs of the many Muslim men who are suffering after being transferred from Guantanamo to their own or third countries. We recognize the particular pain of those who continue to be separated from their loved ones during this traditionally joyful month of Ramadan. 

The neglect and abandonment of Guantanamo survivors by the US government has resulted in some men, like Salem Ghereby from Libya, dying without appropriate medical and other support.  We do not want this to happen to anyone else. With your help we can continue to provide relief to Guantanamo survivors who need our help.  

 So far during this year's Ramadan fundraising campaign Guantanamo Survivors Fund has raised 10% of the $10,000 goal. Thank you to everyone who has contributed. As the days of Ramadan progress, we hope you will continue to give generously.  

Thursday, February 29, 2024

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian.


Danger ahead - falling rocks

Voting in America ... Gerrymanders and voter suppression give Republicans a whopping advantage ... The 14th amendment and its possibilities ... The post-Civil War reconstruction amendments ... Trump and the suspension of the Constitution ... Roger Fitch explains 

If more Americans had been able to vote in 2016, Donald Trump would have lost. 

However, thanks to the supreme court's decision in Shelby County v Holder (2013), the 2016 presidential election was the first in 50 years without the essential protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, resulting in massive vote suppression.

After the court inexplicably struck down the recent, near-unanimous, re-enactment of the Act's provisions requiring federal pre-clearance of voting measures, a toxic torrent of voting restrictions poured forth from conservative (and racist) states.

Private enforcement actions remained, but in November 2023, a 2-1 panel of the 8th circuit issued a clearly-wrong decision that such actions are not allowed, though they've been used for 40 years during which time private litigants brought 182 successful lawsuits and the DoJ alone only 15. 

Worse, four Republican states are cynically pursuing a two-pronged attack on the remnants of the VRA.

A third of eligible voters in America fail to vote. Why? It's the difficulty of doing so under Republican Party governance. Voting is voluntary, and it's actively discouraged through onerous registrations and voting, pointlessly-purged voter rolls, inconvenient polling sites, Tuesday elections, deliberately-burdensome ID requirements, restricted voting hours, and even punishments for poll assistance.

If one succeeds in voting, gerrymanders can give Republicans an advantage of 7% or more; in Wisconsin 47.5% of the vote gives Republicans a two-thirds super-majority in the legislature, enough to override executive actions of the progressive Democrat governor.

Enforcement of an overlooked provision of the 14th amendment might address these problems.

Americans are constantly reminded of the holy writ enshrined in the Constitution (1789) and Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10, adopted 1791), but people know little about the Reconstruction Amendments hammered out by Congress after the Civil War, in debates rivalling those of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention eighty years earlier. 

Reconstruction Amendments - deliberations

Following the Civil War, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were adopted to recast the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and vindicate the supremacy of the federal over state governments, not least in matters of citizenship, voting, and (gender aside) freedom from discrimination. 

Most people have heard of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, and perhaps the 15th, but it's the 14th that is most well-known, the amendment that turbo-charged the Bill of Rights. Properly interpreted, the 14th would be Donald Trump's kryptonite, as its Section 3 prohibits certain insurgents holding office

The supreme court, however, seems sure to allow Trump on the ballot, simply deferring a constitutional crisis. Why? Perhaps because Section 3 doesn't mention the (Australian) ballot

Other sections of the 14th are more consequential: Section 1 adds birthright citizenship, equal protection and privileges or immunities to the due process provided in the Bill of Rights, making these federal protections also those of state citizens. Then there is Section 2

"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State ... when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State." (emphases added)

It was Section 2 that introduced a gender distinction for the first time through its "male" references: no mention of sex appears in the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

In Section 1, women were included in the same birthright citizenship, "privileges or immunities", due process, and equal protection as men. Yet during the compromises in drafting section 2, recognition of women was dropped: it was thought its inclusion would make ratification too difficult.

The campaign for women's suffrage had begun before the War, in the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, and there were precedents for women voting, e.g, single women and widows voted in New Jersey from 1776 to 1807, when the all-male legislature put a stop to it. 

Hence one purpose of Section 2 - in referring to male inhabitants and male citizens - was deterring states from increasing their representation in congress by enfranchising women, as soon occurred in Wyoming Territory (1869) and elsewhere in the West. The "male" distinction became redundant after the adoption of the 19th Amendment (1920).

The 15th Amendment also refers to "males", as it only sought to deal with racial, not sex, discrimination. What is striking is that the amendment does not contain a right to vote, something the US, alone among advanced democracies, lacks. 

≈   ≈   ≈


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Artists at Guantanamo

 I know I have mentioned how some of the men, who were never charged with any crime, took up painting and other artistic pursuits while waiting to be released. Upon release they had to fight to keep their art work- our government considered their art work to belong to the government. sigh. Anyway, another story with a different twist. This man was released and allowed to take his art work- except for the Art depicting his torture. Apparently those pieces depict our torture methods- which must remain secret.

you really can't make his shit up.

read more here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Former Guantanamo detainee goes to Bagram....

 Of course Bagram is where most of the detainees were held before they were moved to Guantanamo. This is where the torture began for many of the men.

Moazzam Begg has dedicated his life, since his release, to helping the men who were once held at Guantanamo.

This is 25 minutes long but worth the look.