Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April fools day is long past... so is this for real??

According to the Washington Post the pentagon is poised to start releasing prisoners at a quicker pace than it has in the past (sigh...) if this report is true approximately 10 will be released before June including one to Mauritania... which I am guessing  would be the only Mauritanian at the prison (otherwise this is an extremely cruel joke)- the esteemed writer of the Guantanamo Diary-- Mohamedou Ould Slahi--
Also discussed in the article is the long awaited release of Shaker Aamer. Read more about Shaker here.
Anyway, rumors are always afloat--- read the whole article here....

Amnesty International calls out Obama for giving amnesty to torturers....

.Amnesty International on Tuesday issued a 140-page analysis accusing the administration of effectively turning a blind eye to the scathing report issued by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee more than four months ago. 
Pointing to a lack of prosecutions for anyone participating in the interrogation and rendition program, which many people call torture, the group chided the administration for refusing to do a full internal analysis of how it could have been carried out in the first place

Guantanamo's longest hunger striker would like to go home.....

Nine years. That is how long Abdul Rahman Shalabi, has been on a hunger strike. Think about it: nine years of feeding tubes being stuck down your nose and into your stomach twice a day --and why has this man been held all of these years? 

"A man held captive as a suspected Osama bin Laden bodyguard since the day the prison opened at Guantánamo went before a multi-agency parole board Tuesday seeking release to his native Saudi Arabia to marry, finish college and join his brothers in business."

He has been held because he is suspected of being a body guard for Osama Bin Laden. OMG- how many men at Guantanamo have faced that same accusation? I would guess hundreds. And how did those accusations come about? I would guess the same way the accusation came to be made against my client Al-Ghizzawi. A mentally compromised individual accused countless men of being body guards to Osama-- why? Yes, because he was mentally compromised by the same conditions all of these men have been subjected to and it was his way of getting a few extra perks. And our military long knew about this man's mental state and yet they have let those same baseless accusations keep so many of these men in detention without charge for all these years.[Fortunately I was able to prove long ago about the unreliability of this individual as it related to my client] 
As for the man who made these baseless accusations? He has has long been released. 

Shame on Obama and his military for holding not only Abdul Rahman Shalabi - but others as well- for more than 13 years based on these cruel and unsupported accusations by a mentally ill detainee.

Read the rest here.

Read more here:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another Forever Detainee is Cleared....

A federal parole board has cleared another Guantánamo “forever prisoner” — a 37-year-old Yemeni who the U.S. profiled as having met Osama bin Laden — for release from the detention center in southeast Cuba.
“I am against violence. I don’t have the least intention to spend any more time with other detainees,” Mashoor al Sabri told the board last month. Although a Yemeni citizen, he said he was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and would like to return to family there, in Mecca, notably an ailing mother with high blood pressure.
Read the rest here.

Read more here:

Detainee appeals to Pakistani High Court for Help

On April 14, lawyers for Ahmad Rabbani (aka Mohammed Ahmad Ghulam Rabbani), one of the last few Pakistani prisoners in Guantánamo, “filed an emergency application with the Islamabad High Court, demanding that the Pakistani government intervene immediately in his case,” as the legal action charityReprieve (which represents Mr. Rabbani) explained in a press release.

Read the rest here.

Guantánamo torture case appealed to SCOTUS

And this from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

Last Friday, CCR urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review its case seeking compensation for former Guantánamo prisoners who were tortured. Celikgogus v. Rumsfeld was filed against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level government officials and Guantánamo personnel for authorizing and condoning torture. All of the clients were released without being charged with any crime, yet they were subjected to torture and other abuses, including solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, being prevented from praying, forcible shaving, and being medicated against their will. They continue to suffer the effects of this treatment years after being released; one is even immobilized. A district court dismissed the case in 2013, and the appellate court in 2014 affirmed the dismissal, claiming that the torture and religious humiliation these men endured were incidental to the “need to maintain an orderly detention environment.” The court also noted that this treatment appeared “standard for all” U.S. military detainees in Guantánamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan—as if the mere prevalence of torture justifies it. The Supreme Court has not heard a Guantánamo case since 2008, and to date none of those tortured at Guantánamo have been compensated for what they endured. CCRs pursuit of this case all the way to the highest court in the nation is emblematic of its longtime commitment to hold accountable, in whatever venue possible, those who created, designed and implemented U.S. torture – from Guantánamo to Abu Ghraib, CIA black sites, extraordinary renditions and elsewhere.
Thank you CCR.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

More reviews on Slahi's Guantanamo diary...

The book has been described as "a vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka." (John Le Carre') And it is being translated into more languages as I type.... so if you have not bought a copy yet check in your local books stores and get get it now.... no matter where you are in the world it should be available in your language if not now, soon.
Here is a recent review.
Here is how you can buy a copy in the U.S.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Meanwhile.... back at the military commissions...

In the dysfunctional military commissions a military judge has ordered an MRI of abdul al Rashim al-Nashiri's brain. His lawyers have long argued that he suffers from brain damage because of the severe torture he was subjected to-- including water boarding, a mock execution and anal rape.

Read more here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A new commander for the Gitmo base.....UPDATED.

He takes over in July. We shall see what we shall see. The base has had more than its fair share of bad commanders but there have been a few that were not too bad....Time will tell.
Read more here.
More on the new commander here.
We can only hope he will remember his own words as he embarks on this "mission:"

Your legacy is a lot like what you put on the Internet, it is always out there for all to see,” Ponds said, according to a university news release. “Be mindful of what you say and do and what you leave behind for others to see and remember.”

Read more here:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Defense department's insubordination on closing Guantánamo

Wells Dixon, is a fellow Gitmo attorney who works at the Center for Constitutional Rights.
His article at "The Hill" questions the failure of the DOD to follow Obama's directive to close Guantanamo:

American military doctrine is clear: when a superior officer identifies a lawful strategic objective, forces under his or her command must work to achieve it without delay.  When it comes to Guantánamo, however, the Pentagon continues to obstruct President Obama's mandate to close the prison.  Their defiance is tantamount to insubordination.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Catching Up..... again.

A lot has been happening.... and yet nothing really changes in the Gitmo world.
The military commission is at a standstill again. Read more about that here.

Jeff Kaye has written a book about the high dose "antimalarial" drugs given to the detainees when they landed at Guantanamo and the psychological impact of those drugs. That drug being provided at such high doses caused psycholigical trauma for the men that lasted for weeks and the drug was not given to them because of any threat of malaria. Read more here.

In really good news--- at least for now--- a French court has summoned one of the Guantanamo (and Abu Ghraib) torturers-- the infamous Gen. Geoffrey Miller for an inquiry. I'm guessing Geoffrey Miller will not be going to France (or the rest of Western Europe) soon.... Read more about that here   and here.

And wait... did I hear that my temporary home from a few years ago is thinking about taking on a Gitmo refugee or two (or maybe more....)? That is the rumor. I tried hard when I was there to convince the government to accept some men.... but of course that was mostly during the Bush years and no country in western europe was willing to help Bush......but it would be great if that wonderful country would be willing to lend a hand now. Read more here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

If Obama is really sorry he didn't close Guantanamo on day 1---

Some advice to Obama on how to close it now....

Read it here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Poland asks the US not to execute men tortured on their soil...UPDATED YET AGAIN....

Warsaw (AFP) - Poland wants the United States to rule out the death penalty for two men who were tortured by the CIA in its territory before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, according to a government letter released Tuesday.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Poland for hosting secret CIA prisons, saying it knowingly abetted the unlawful imprisonment and torture of Guantanamo-bound detainees Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, and Saudi Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002-2003.

Sadly Abu Zubaydah is on the forever to be detained but never to be charged list- because all of that torture just showed that he was a nobody! Maybe Poland can step up and ask the US to resettle Abu Zubaydah in Poland?

Today it was announced that Poland has apparently sent an "official note" to U.S. authorities seeking assurances that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri will not be subject to the death penalty.
More here.

So today I have learned more about why Poland is finally stepping up and asking that al-Nashiri not be executed. It seems Poland risks breaching the Court of Human Rights ruling. In addition, Poland has to turn over files and finish its investigation (that has been ongoing since 2008) and turn over the results of that investigation.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

So what does it mean when Obama claims the Afghani war is over??

Lawyers for Al Warafi, who was has effectively spent his entire adult life in jail,[at Guantanamo] filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last month to grant a writ of habeas corpus, which would require the government to release Al Warafi. The motion pointed to Obama’s public statements about the war, including his State of the Union Address, when he declared that “our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”
Read the rest here.