Monday, April 25, 2016

Abu Zubaydah.... the Al-Qaeda "leader" who wasn't....

Rebecaa Gordon has written alot about U.S. war crimes and of course one of the worst was our treatment of Abu Z- a man who was said to be the number 2 in Al- Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden's right hand man. We water boarded him almot 100 times- we confined him in a coffin- and we have kept him in solitary confinement for years and years.... and of course he will never be charged with a crime because my country was wrong about who he is (and was). Read more about the war crimes against this man here. And pick up a copy of Gordon's book "American Nuremberg: the U.S. officials who should stand trial for post 9-11 war crimes."

And speaking of war crimes and Osama Bin Laden. Seymour Hersh has a new book out about the hit on Osama Bin Laden. Yes, that too was a war crime- "he was a prisoner of war" and we executed him. Read more about Hersh's book here.

Friday, April 22, 2016

RIP PRINCE


A brief interlude to acknowledge the passing of an artist.
http://mashable.com/2016/04/22/prince-purple-monuments/#EYHGAay5V5q6

JAILED WITHOUT TRIAL FOR LIFE

This article comes from Juan Cole's blog and asks the question "With nine months left until a new president is inaugurated, the question is: Can this country’s signature War on Terror prison ever be closed?"

Detailed breakdown of the Gitmo Stats.....

Reflecting the recent announcement that the PRB has declined to approve for transfer Sharqawi Abdu Ali al Hajj (ISN 1457), a Yemeni whom the government has also referred to as “Riyadh the Facilitator” the following is the latest breakdown of the population.

The prison population remains at 80: 26 are cleared, 44 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 26 cleared, 21 (80.8%) are Yemenis and 5 are non-Yemenis. 

Of the 44 awaiting clearance, 19 are Yemenis and 25 are non-Yemenis.


PRB Data

The PRB has approved for transfer 20 of the 28 detainees for whom it has issued decisions (71.4%).

Of the 44 detainees who are PRB-eligible and still awaiting clearance:

·         Eight were denied clearance in their initial appearance before the PRB and are in various stages of file review (ISNs 28, 29, 242, 522, 569, 1094, 1457) or have received a subsequent full review (ISN 131);
·         Three have had their initial hearings and are awaiting decision (ISNs 508, 762, 841);
·         18 are officially in the PRB process with (at least tentatively) scheduled hearing dates (ISNs 27, 44, 63, 685, 694, 696, 702, 753, 760, 837, 838, 839, 840, 975, 1453, 1461, 1463, 10025);
·         15 are not yet officially in the PRB process.

For these purposes, a detainee is “officially in the PRB process” when he has received formal notification of the process and has been assigned a PRB hearing date, based on either (a) the detainee appearing (even if only temporarily) on the PRB web page tracking individual detainees’ proceedings, (b) my personal knowledge regarding our PRB-eligible clients, or (c) information provided to me by counsel for other PRB-eligible detainees.


Cleared Detainee Data

15 of the 26 cleared detainees currently at the base were cleared by the Obama Task Force.  The other 11 were cleared by the PRB, which means 9 PRB-cleared detainees have been released.

Specifically, of the 26 cleared:

11 are Yemenis approved for “conditional detention” by the Obama Task Force (ISNs 33, 40, 91, 223, 240, 440, 498, 509, 550, 728, 893)
1 is a Yemeni approved for transfer by the Obama Task Force (ISN 153)
3 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer by the Obama Task Force (ISNs 38 (Tunisia), 257 (Tajikistan), 309 (unknown/UAE))

2 are Yemenis approved for “conditional detention” by the PRB (ISNs 31, 37)
7 are Yemenis approved for transfer by the PRB (ISNs 41, 128, 235, 434, 441, 576, 836)

2 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer by the PRB (ISNs 1045 (Afghanistan), 1119 (Afghanistan))

H/O TO FELLOW GITMO ATTORNEY BRIAN FOSTER FOR KEEPING TRACK OF THIS.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Maybe 9?

I have not seen an official announcement but the general concensus is that nine Yemeni were transferred to Saudi Arabia. One of the nine is the long term hunger striker Tariq Ba Odah. I understand that his health is pretty dire.

With those nine gone here are the latest stats:


The prison population now stands at 80: 26 are cleared, 44 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 26 cleared, 21 (80.8%) are Yemenis and 5 are non-Yemenis. 


Of the 44 awaiting clearance, 19 are Yemenis and 25 are non-Yemenis.

H/O to fellow gitmo attorney Brian Foster for keeping track of all of this.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

More Detainees released?

Unconfirmed reports have 12 detainees transferred to Saudi Arabia. More news to follow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Health concerns at Gitmo- UPDATED

Last year I wrote about the cancer cluster at Gitmo. After a military defense attorney died from a very aggressive form of cancer concerns were raised about the site where the attorneys and staff stay while at the base as well as their working space. It seems that the attorney was not the only one to be diagnosed with cancer. The staff demanded an investigation and it was learned that hazard waste had been dumped at the site.... of course the military is never wrong and they declined to move anyone and said "everthing is fine...."
Yesterday the marine general for the defense team banned them from living at "camp justice" until further notice, citing health concerns. I will have a link to my earlier post and to an article from yesterday that raises the continued concerns later today.
Stay tuned....

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Could it be that one CIA torturer will stand trial??

If so, it will be in Italy not in these United States where torturers are allowed their freedom... Actually even if this particular CIA operative is extradicted from Portugal to Italy she might not stand trial as she never showed up for the original trial and was found guilty in abstentia...
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Read more here.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

oh man, shades of Cully!

Most of you probably don't remember Cully Simpson. I wrote aobut him many years ago here. The short version is that he thought that the attorneys who were representing men at Guantanamo should be attacked and the clients of the big law firms (phew, I escaped that one....) should be put on notice that their attorneys are representing "those people." Poor Cully went down in flames and was forced to resign. He has even reinvented himself of late as some sort of voice of reason regarding the detainees.

Now comes his predecessor..... Douglas Fahl. A county judge from Indiana and a reservist who has been called up for duty. So where is he being sent? To Guantanamo of course--- because the military needs a big strong man to set the record straight and keep these dangerous people at Guantanamo forever--- to keep us American's safe. SIGH.

According to Fahl " “I’ve seen what these guys are capable of doing on the battlefield. It’s always difficult to leave my family for a deployment, but I am honored to be chosen to use my legal skills to make sure these dangerous men don’t return to the battlefield to kill American soldiers or innocent civilians.”

I for one feel alot safer now. LOL. I wonder what poor Fahl will do when he discovers that more than 90% of the men were never near a battlefield. Well the good news is he has already figured out his game plan. According to Fahl,  “GITMO has been described to me as the tip of the spear for legal warfare.” 

Oh man, "legal warfare." 
As I said at the top of this piece--- shades of Cully Simpson--- may Fahl go down in flames as quickly as Cully so that we can all get back to the business of shutting the place down.

READ THE REST HERE

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Military hearing deadlines postponed again....

It seems there is a new problem down at Gitmo for the military hearings. The presiding judge continued pretrial hearings that were set to begin next week. The rumor is that it has to do with a justice department investigation into the security breach of one of the defense teams which defense lawyers have called "a gross violation of the attorney client privilege."
There is no word when things will start up again. You can read more here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

GITMO BY THE NUMBERS...


The prison population now stands at 89: 35 are cleared, 44 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 35 cleared, 30 (85.7%) are Yemenis and 5 are non-Yemenis. 

Of the 44 awaiting clearance, 19 are Yemenis and 25 are non-Yemenis.

PRB Data

The PRB has approved for transfer 20 of the 25 detainees for whom it has issued decisions (80.0%).

Of the 44 detainees who are PRB-eligible and still awaiting clearance:

·        Five were denied clearance in their initial appearance before the PRB and are in various stages of file review (ISNs 28, 29, 242, 522) or getting a subsequent full review (ISN 131);
·        Four have had their initial hearings and are awaiting decision (ISNs 508, 569, 1094, 1457);
·        12 are officially in the PRB process with scheduled hearing dates (ISNs 27, 63, 753, 760, 762, 837, 838, 840, 841, 975, 1453, 1463);
·        23 are not yet officially in the PRB process.

For these purposes, a detainee is “officially in the PRB process” when he has received formal notification of the process and has been assigned a PRB hearing date, based on either (a) the detainee appearing (even if only temporarily) on the PRB web page tracking individual detainees’ proceedings, (b) my personal knowledge regarding our PRB-eligible clients, or (c) information provided to me by counsel for other PRB-eligible detainees.

Cleared Detainee Data

23 of the 35 cleared detainees currently at the base were cleared by the Obama Task Force.  The other 12 were cleared by the PRB, which means 8 PRB-cleared detainees have been release.

Specifically, of the 35 cleared:

17 are Yemenis approved for “conditional detention” by the Obama Task Force
3 are Yemenis approved for transfer by the Obama Task Force (ISNs 153, 249, 566)
3 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer by the Obama Task Force (ISNs 38 (Tunisia), 257 (Tajikistan), 309 (unknown/UAE))

2 are Yemenis approved for “conditional detention” by the PRB (ISNs 31, 37)
8 are Yemenis approved for transfer by the PRB (ISNs 41, 128, 235, 324, 434, 441, 576, 836)
2 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer by the PRB (ISNs 1045 (Afghanistan), 1119 (Afghanistan).

H/O to fellow Gitmo attorney Brian Foster for keeping track of all of this.

THE OTHER SIDE OF TORTURE

Torture does not just impact the victim- for those torturers who have any sense of humanity their actions will eventually come back to haunt them.  Here is the story of one such man.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Two Libyan men released to Senegal- UPDATED

Today the Miami Herald is reporting that two Libyan men have been released to Senegal. Both men had been held at Guantanamo since 2002- without charge.
This leave the total number of men being held at Gitmo at 89.
You can read more here.
MORE ABOUT THE TWO MEN HERE.

Friday, April 1, 2016

CLOSE IT DOWN....

The Miami Herald (the only newspaper in my country to consistently report on what is going on at Guantanamo) has an important editorial in its paper today looking at the failure of anything resembling JUSTICE- at Guantanamo. The upshot is that the problem belongs to both congress and the president.
Read the editorial here.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Long Term Hunger Striker Set for Release....

"Tariq Ba Odah, a 37-year-old Yemeni, whom the military has been force-feeding daily. That involves guards strapping him down, putting a rubber tube down his nose and pumping a liquid dietary supplement into his stomach. Last year, Ba Odah’s weight dipped to 74 pounds."

I can't remember exactly when Tariq started his hunger strike but it has been several years and he is reportedly in very ill health. I hope the country that has agreed to take him can provide the long term health care that he will need.

Supposedly the administration is preparing to release about a dozen men in the coming months. Read the rest here.