Friday, June 23, 2017

And speaking of torture......

OK- so I wasn't speaking of torture (this time) but I am now.... It seems we just can't stop doing the torture thing. Now it is Yemen, and it sounds like alot of the same things that went on at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and a miriad of other places that we invaded and tortured men and women.

Read more here.

ILLEGAL RECORDINGS OF ATTORNEY CLIENT MEETINGS APPARENTLY CONTINUE

This has long been a concern to those of us who are representing men at Guantanamo- is the military/government listening to our conversations with our clients? There are very few rights that our clients have- they cannot see the evidence against them (if it is classified); they cannot confront witnesses; they cannot participate in their habeas hearings; even our fucking notes from meeting with our clients are reviewed. But at least we can pick and choose what to put in our notes and we were promised (sigh) that our conversations would not be recorded. In fact, it wasn't just a naive dream that the government would not listen in to our conversations, the promise was recorded in a court order. Ahh, but as I learned during my very first visit to Guantanamo almost eleven years ago to the day- "Court orders don't work here--- we consider those advisory."

So it seems the military apparently decided not to take the "advice" of the judges. Will the judges do anything about this?
Probably not- I mean why would the judges in DC start caring about this sort of thing at this point??

Read more here.

Monday, June 12, 2017

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS....

So far nothing has changed at Guantanamo under Trump- except one major change-- no one is leaving.
Carol Rosenberg updates us on her take of things at our Gulag under Trump...

Read about it here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Friday, June 2, 2017

PRESIDENTIAL COPIES OF TORTURE REPORT BEING GIVEN BACK TO THE SENATE

It is looking more and more like the full Ttorture Report will never see the light of day... Several copies of the report were in the hands of Obama but of course he never sought the public release of the report. Now the Trump people are giving the copies of the report back to the republican held senate. You can bet those will be locked away forever....
You can read more here.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

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.