Friday, June 22, 2018

Living up to his word....

Trump promised he wouldn't release men from Guantanamo- one detainee has been waiting more than a year for a decision from his PRB (periodic review board). This is the board that is supposed to review the men and say whether they can be cleared for release (or not). The board was supposed to meet regularly but in my clients case they only met with him once in the seven years since the PRBs were set up.

The story of this Yemeni detainee captures the intransigence of the Trump administrations position on the remaining men. Read about it here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Razak Ali, 17 years and still counting.

My client, Razak Ali, started his 17th year at Guantanamo yesterday. I don't know why he is one of the few to remain for so long. He has committed no crime. He has never been charged with a crime. He has never been convicted of a crime. Ever. Anywhere.

My country is just holding him because we can -- we are using him as some abstract lesson to unknown others -- like those children my country is holding in cages at our southern boarder -- also being held as some abstract lesson to unknown others.

I am afraid my country has not hit rock bottom yet and that should scare all of us.

Friday, June 15, 2018

6000 days and still counting...

Today marks Guantanamo's 6000th day and there are no signs of our gulag closing anytime soon.
My remaining client, Razak Ali, is one of the 40 men still stuck in this nightmare and he will start his 17th year at the gulag on tuesday. I am at a loss for words.

Maybe next week on his "anniversary" I will find something meaningful to say.
Until then, read:

The talking dog

Andy Worthington

close guantanamo

Shaker Aamer who was finally released in 2015 has these words to say on the 6000th anniversary of the opening of Gitmo:

"Tell Donald Trump:
As long as Guantanamo is open, America will never be great again.
And as long as America is committing injustice, America will never be great again.
And as long as America has military posts all over the world, America will never be great again.
And as long as America is supporting and helping dictators all over the world, America will never be great again."



I think it is fair to say that America will not be great again for a long time....

Monday, June 11, 2018

Preparing Gitmo for the long haul...permanent detention

Last week Carol Rosenberg reported on the military's request for more money for the prison at Guantanamo with a new hospice wing for the elderly because “the mission at Guantanamo is shifting to permanent detention.”
 

"The U.S. military's mission at Guantánamo is shifting to permanent detention for al-Qaida and other war-on-terror detainees, commanders told reporters this week in a rare public pitch for Congress to fund a new $69 million, wheelchair-accessible prison — complete with a hospice-care cellblock — for the five accused 9/11 plotters and 10 other captives who were in some instances tortured in secret overseas CIA prisons."
Read the whole article here.
Several of us who are representing men still being held have filed new petitions asking for court intervention because of the presidents comments that he will never release anyone. Argument was held in my clients case a few months ago. The Judge for many of the other men who have filed new petitions will hear argument on July 11. I will try to update before then in case any of you want to try to attend.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A look at one of the victims tortured by our new CIA chief ...

According to this U.S. Navy Reserve Doctor one of her victims -- a man held at Guantanamo -- is the most severely traumatized person he has ever seen. This is a doctor who has treated torture victims from around the world. Read what he has to say here.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It is official... torturer in chief now heads the CIA

Shame on my country. But this is what my country has become over the past few decades and Obama did nothing to stop it when he was president.

So now we have one of the leaders in the torture campaign as the head of the CIA. And don't forget- in addition to torturing individuals that we were interrogating she also destroyed evidence of that torture.

Haspel is a war criminal and she now heads the CIA.

Shame on my country.

Support Political Art....


Ai Weiwei: A 'misfit' in Chicago, a serious artist/activist who likes Instagram and works in Legos

If you find yourself in Chicago in the near future you must go see this exhibit- below is one of the many portraits of activists by Weiwei- all done in legos. It is amazing.
For more on the exhibit click here.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mothers Day

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Haspel hearing today

Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel has been following the hearing today. I am providing links to two of her blog reports.
one
two

I will catch up on this in a few days but I will just say that Haspel is what my country has become, in a word....cruel.

Today the senate votes on whether a torturer will be in charge of the CIA

Another dismal day in this country of mine. We don't know all of the illegal things Ms. Haspel has done- we know she was involved in torturing suspects into confessing to crimes they did not do and to crimes they did not know about. We also know she destroyed evidence relating to those torture sessions -- including videos of the torture itself.

One of the men charged at the military commission at Guantanamo asked for permission to explain to the senate what she did to him. It probably will not be allowed but even if it is we will never get to see it.

Read more here.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

YES, IT IS TRUE....

I am sure Trump is very sad about the release of Mr. Al-Darbi to Saudi Arabia but the fact of the matter is that Mr. Al-Darbi entered into a plea agreememt years ago and under that agreement he was supposed to be returned to Saudi Arabia earlier this year to serve out the rest of his sentence. The Trump administration was in violation of the agreement.
So, the short answer is "no" we are not seeing a change-- only someone convinced the moron that they had to abide by the court order.
Read more about the release here.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Photos from Guantanamo and beyond...

From Mother Jones.... "These photos plunge you into the inner Madness of Guantanamo"

h/o to Walt.

The future of Guantanamo...

I guess, in theory, we will know what Trump wants to do with our Gulag by the end of today...

Read more here.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

And this news from Witness Against Torture....






Former detainees in Senegal 

deported to Libya


Charlie Savage writes in the NY Times,

 "...a decision this month by Senegal 
to deport two former detainees to their
chaotic birth country of Libya has
 raised the prospect that the resettlement 
system is starting to collapse 
under President Trump. After a traumatic
 journey, the Libyans apparently 
fell into the hands of a hard-line 
 militia leader who has been accused 
of prisoner abuse — and then they 
 vanished."  Read his article here

WAT states: "The U.S. has the obligation

first and foremost to ensure that former
 prisoners are resettled without fear of 
additional retribution, and the decision 
to deport Khalifa back to Libya
 demonstrates a total and utter lack of
 commitment to prisoners it unjustly 
detained and whose lives remain 
irreparable."