Monday, May 13, 2019

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian....

*   *   *
Department of Justice, Washington: with protesters
Hopefully, some readers will have heard about a "no good, very bad day" for Guantánamo's military commissions, when the DC circuit threw out 460 written orders of a MC judge who presided over a case staffed and funded by the Justice Department, while he concealed, with prosecution assistance, his concurrent negotiations with DoJ for an immigration judge position.
Lawfare and Noah Feldman have more on the latest failure of the Pentagon's simulated justice
Other points of interest:

READ THE REST HERE.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

To Razak's Mother....

and the mothers of all of the disappeared....


Monday, April 29, 2019

Hospice care and the firing of the Gitmo Commander UPDATED

The current commander of Guantanamo, John Ring, was relieved of duty on friday -- two months before his tour of duty was to end. Why, you may ask? Well officially the answer is  "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command."  Read the very short announcement here.

Some think his firing had something to do with his recent discussion about the aging of the Gitmo population... and the effects of that aging (ie -- gitmo as a nursing home).

You can almost hear the disgust in Commander's Ring's discussion about the medical problems and how he, as commander, is supposed to deal with those health problems. Clearly the military does not want this dirty laundry aired....

The Guardian has more on Commander Ring's firing.

And another look at the hospice care of men who are held indefinitely without charge.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

UK finally looking into it's role in torture of Abu Z

Well that only took 18 years....read more here.

A memoir from one of the youngest detainees....

Saudi Arabia offers few prospects for the bright young Mohammed El-Gharani. With roots in Chad, Mohammed is treated like a second-class citizen. His access to healthcare and education are restricted; nor can he make the most of his entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 14, having scraped together some money as a street trader, Mohammed seizes an opportunity to study in Pakistan. One Friday in Karachi, Mohammed is detained during a raid on his local mosque. After being beaten and interrogated, he is sold to the American government by the Pakistani forces as a member of Al-Qaida with links to Osama Bin Laden, but Mohammed has heard of neither. The Americans fly him first to Kandahar and then to Guantánamo Bay.
 
In Guantánamo Kid, Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc tell the eye-opening, heart-wrenching story of one of Guantánamo’s youngest detainees. Written in collaboration with Mohammed El-Gharani, Guantánamo Kid reflects as closely as possible his memories and experiences of life in the camp.

Read more about his memoir and buy a copy here.

And Whatever You Do....

Don't talk about the torture....

More here.
h/o to Walt

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Being released from Gitmo does not mean you are free

Not if freedom means that you are free to travel. A point that Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been reminded. You might remember Mohamedou- he was a prisoner at Guantanamo who wrote a book... a heavily redacted book (I will try to find my earlier posts about his ordeal and his book later this week....) He was finally released in 2016 and his country (Mauritania) promised that after two years his passport would be provided to him again.
Needless to say, that did not happen.
That is one of the many tragedy's that continues to haunt they former prisoners.
Andy Worthington has more here.
Here is a link to my post after Slahi republished his book.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Éirinn go Brách



Friday, March 15, 2019

A new low.... even for my country in the time of trump.


Who knew we could hit a new low in this country that keeps seemingly hitting rock bottom?

My country has now denied visas to members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) who want to come to the US to investigate our (many) war crimes in Afghanistan. 

I was a visiting professional at the ICC back during the Bush II administration (during the height of our war crimes) and while I was working at the International Court during that period the only countries denying investigators the right to enter the country and investigate war crimes were third world countries that the "western world" considered the "worst of the worst."

So here we are. 

Pompeo, our so-called secretary of state, said earlier today of the visa denial:
"This would include anyone who takes, or has taken, action to request or further an investigation, he told reporters."

That directive includes me.

I proudly took action to request and to further the investigation into the war crimes by my country in Afghanistan. 

And Pompeo will have to arrest me if he wants to stop me... because I do not need a visa to enter this country and investigate. And I will encourage other US citizens to cooperate and further the investigation into the US atrocities and war crimes in Afghanistan.

So Pompeo -- you want to keep the investigators out -- well fuck you. We will investigate from within.

Oh, and not only is Pompeo denying visas to those member of the International Court investigating my country's war crimes but he (and his peeps) are threatening economic sanctions against someone .... exactly who Pompeo has not said. I guess he still has to figure that one out.

Read more here.
(oh and by the way, when you read the part in the link about how the US did not sign on to the International Court, take note that we actually tried to sign on... President Clinton signed on and then Bush II became president and took our signature off before congressional approval took place. And shortly thereafter, Bush II engaged in war crimes against Afghanistan. 
In my book the actions of Bush II were premeditated.) 



And more from our friends down under....

The picture was so perfect it needed its own place on this blog... (See Below)
The US House may be busy bashing Trump, but nothing will happen in the senate so long as the intensely partisan Mitch McConnell remains Senate Majority Leader.  
McConnell is personally credited with packing the federal judiciary, beginning with the supreme court itself, where Republican loyalists have since signed off on Trump's "Muslim ban", and seem prepared to green-light the illicit motives underlying "national security" declarations, and such recent Trump initiatives as the rigged census questionnaire; the immigration "national emergency"; and an Army-built border wall.
If the courts rule against Mr Trump's national emergency executive order, will it make any difference? He recently openly flouted a federal court order striking down another executive order excluding aliens.
While the supreme court has unique internal dynamics, it is the lower courts that are suffering the most from McConnell's systematic stacking. Alarming appointees, chosen for conservative ideology, are being nominated and confirmed in droves; some are destined to be forever tainted as "Trump judges". 
One of the most unsuitable, Howard C Nielson, is a nominee for US District Court in Utah. Nielson once worked in the "torture memo" section of George Bush's Justice Department; his contribution was a 29-page memo implausibly (and wrongly) claiming that the 4th Geneva Convention only applied to those civilians detained on US territory, leaving US detainees in Afghanistan unprotected.  
READ THE REST HERE.

From our Friends Down Under at Justinian....

Friday, March 8, 2019

Happy International Woman's Day

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

We will take whatever good news we can get! (updated)

Yes, there hasn't been much to report on the Gitmo end of things -- as my country quickly deteriorates into a banana republic.
Last month we learned that the only reporter covering Gitmo issues was probably going to leave the Miami Herald as part of a buy-out...sigh. That news was distressing in many ways not only because she (Carol Rosenberg) was the only one covering these issues but also because she actually does investigative reporting. A dying art in this here country of mine.

But today there is good news on that front:


Carol Rosenberg is joining the New York Times.

https://twitter.com/NYTimesPR/status/1098223989896474624


I think that will be the only good news this month (or year) so savor it.

Update: And here is the announcement from the NYT.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

this is why they kneel....

Consider this the Super Bowl edition of The Gitmo blog.

I will fix this tomorrow but til then:
https://www.theroot.com/why-they-kneel-everything-we-said-about-police-brutali-1832259986