Saturday, February 18, 2017


I read with sorrow the life of Hedi Hammami- a Tunisian that was held in Guantanamo for 8 years before being released to the country of Georgia in 2010. Mr. Hammami and my client Al-Ghizzawi were released to Georgia at the same time- there was also a third man released to Georgia at the same time. I met the other two men when I went to visit my own client in the days following their release. All of them were hopeful they could get their lives back together and the country of Georgia was a very gracious host but none of the men felt comfortable in that country. I think my client lasted the longest- 4 years. Hedi left for Tunisia first- about a year and a half after his release to Georgia and the third man left for his home country shortly after Hedi.

The New York Times has a follow up on the struggles of Mr. Hammami in Tunisia.
Read the story here.

Friday, February 17, 2017


NEW YORK—The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is organizing a day of action for the legal community to express our solidarity with the growing movements against the new regime and its white supremacist agenda. On February 17 at 1 PM EST, lawyers, legal workers, law students, and law professors will gather in front of courthouses across the country in coordination with the nationwide #GeneralStrike planned for the same day.
“We are facing unprecedented attacks on our most fundamental human rights and are seeing the unfolding of authoritarianism before our eyes. The legal community has no choice but to show up, to defend our communities and to fight back by holding our institutions accountable,” said NLG President and LatinoJustice PRLDEF Associate Counsel Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan.
In the three weeks since Donald Trump has taken office, we have seen a flurry of executive orders targeting immigrants and intensifying law enforcement; racist, unqualified millionaires appointed to the nation’s highest positions; assaults on the press, and “alternative facts” presented as truth. However, we have also witnessed communities engaging in profound organizing and direct action—from the streets to airports and schools—to reject the current administration and disrupt business as usual. On February 17, we’re taking the resistance to courthouses.
“It is crucial for the legal community to come together to provide support for resistance movements against the current administration. We must fight back against the legitimization of racial and religious bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny that violate the core principles of democracy,” said NLG Executive Director Pooja Gehi.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Well as we welcome the 4th week of the Trump presidency I guess the only question is, Why did this take so long?

"Eleven Republican senators are calling on President Donald Trump to expand the use of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility.
The group, led by Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, is also urging the new administration to suspend the review board set up by the Obama administration to approve prisoner transfers out of the facility.
"We want to express our support for maintaining and expanding the utilization of the detention facility during your administration by detaining current and future enemy combatants who pose a threat to our national security," the senators write."

Read the rest here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rumor has it that Trump is readying a new executive order....

And that the executive order is about his plans for Guantanamo, and like everything else he has done this is not good!

We will have to wait to see but reportedly his plan is to start sending ISIS prisoners to Gitmo so he can torture them and learn "information."

I blame Obama for not holding any of the war criminals accountable thereby leaving the door open for the next criminal president-- Trump.

Andy Worthington has more on the executive order here.

Friday, February 3, 2017


as to what to do. I mean fuck he has only been president for two weeks and look at this mess.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Presidential score card....

My friend thetalkingdog is trying to keep track of the lunatic... but face it, this is a difficult task.

Oh, I don't twitter but you might want to keep track of this twitter account:

Oh my....

Seems the CIA has named its first female CIA officer to be a deputy chief. Is this how we want to shatter that glass ceiling??  Seems she once ran a CIA prison in Thailand where the prisoners were waterboarded. Oh and she also helped to destroy the video tapes of the waterboarding  after a court order to preserve the tapes. I guess she is the perfect choice for trumps CIA.

Read more here.

From Our Friends Down Under at Justinian

From Roger Fitch.... *   *   *
Gitmo: 41 left
January 11th marked the 15th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay prison and, in the parallel universe that is Gitmo, it seemed perfectly natural that two men held in mistaken identity were among the last of the men released by the Obama administration. One of these was the only one still held who had been captured by Americans on a battlefield.
The final Gitmo transfers began in late December and continued right up to Obama's last day in office
The final count as the clock ran out on 20 January was 41 prisoners; the cost of maintaining them now works out to $US 10.85 million each per year.  
The Post reported on the five men cleared for release who were still at Guantánamo when the Obama administration expired. There were last minute court challenges in Washington on behalf of two of those stranded, but both (here and here) were unsuccessful.    
Among those released on the last day was the only remaining European prisoner, Ravil Mingazov.  
Mingazov is the former Russian ballet dancer-soldier that Fitch once paired for exchange with the US ballet-dancing soldier Bowe Bergdahl. Rejecting Fitch's advice, the Pentagon exchanged five other Guantanameros for Bergdahl, who now faces a court martial for desertion in Afghanistan.
Bergdahl is currently seeking dismissal of the charges in light of the highly prejudicial comments on his case made by the new commander-in-chief - unless the 25th Amendment facilitates another person playing that role. 

Read the rest of this here -- including a comprehesive look at my new president.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dark Times in the good ole U.S. of A--UPDATED

It is hard to keep track of all of the things that trump is doing- which I guess is part of his point. Anyway, as EmptyWheel has pointed out- Trump fulfilled another campaign promise on Sunday- he killed the 8 year old American daughter of Anwar al-Awaki (Obama killed American al-Awaki in 2011 and then two weeks later killed his 16 year old (American) son). I wrote about those killings by Obama here.

On the campaign trail Trump promised to go after the families of terrorists and so he has lived up to that promise...even though this particular  "terrorist" was already dead for more than five years by the time Trump got around to killing his 8 year old daughter. I wonder if it is as meaningful to kill the 8 year old daughter of an accused terrorist when her father is long dead?  Maybe someone can ask Trump?

Read the rest here.

By the way- I mention that these murders were of Americans not because I believe that American lives have more worth but there was a time when in this here country of mine the President couldn't just kill it's citizens without some kind of process. We have long killed those in other countries without any kind of process but Bush, Obama and now Trump have approved the killing of Americans too. No one is off limits anymore. Trump of course is the first of these presidents to pledge to kill the families of "terrorists." so I guess that sets a new standard.

Update: The military is now throwing Trump under the bus, "U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations."

Read More Here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump and Gitmo, Torture and Black Sites.....

Trump is a dangerous lunatic and he is proving just how dangerous he is with his statements concerning torture, the men who are still at Guantanamo, and his attempts to resurrect the "black sites."  Right now it is uncertain whether the Trump administration will continue with the periodic reviews of the men still being held (without ever having been charged with any crime). The word right now is that the reviews are being halted- at least for a time. But no official word has come out.

So, as I sit and wait to hear whether my client will even have a chance of getting out of there, I leave you with this statement from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

January 25, 2017, New York – In response to news reports about a new executive order concerning Guantanamo and the CIA torture program, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We have fought to close Guantanamo Bay and to end torture there since the prison was established in 2002.  We will continue to fight for the men held there today, and anyone who may be brought there in the future, regardless of who is president.  We will not stop until the prison is closed.

The suspension of all transfers from Guantanamo would place the U.S. in violation of the Geneva Conventions.  As Navy Admiral Patrick Walsh concluded in 2009, transfers must continue in order for the U.S. to comply with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.  

The suspension of transfers pending further review by the Trump administration is also unnecessary.  A comprehensive review process already exists, approving detainees for transfer only by consensus of all relevant military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.  Second-guessing transfers approved through that rigorous inter-agency process serves no security purpose, but would impose punitive, indefinite delays in the release of detainees, many of whom have already endured fifteen years of imprisonment without charge or trial.

The Center for Constitutional Rights also reminds the administration and members of Congress that torture is absolutely prohibited in all circumstances by U.S. and international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture.  The United States cannot legalize torture by enacting or repealing its laws.

This statement is available online here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gitmo by the Numbers...

The final report of the Gitmo numbers from the Obama administration:

The prison population now stands 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 were cleared.  36 of these men have been released; 2 remain.  (See “Cleared Detainee Data” below for details.)
    • 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.
    •   1 detainees was denied after a first hearing, was granted a second hearing via file review, and is awaiting decision from the second hearing (ISN 27).
    •   3 detainees were denied after a first hearing, were granted a second hearing via file review, and are awaiting the second hearing (ISNs 1017, 1094, 1457).
    •   4 detainees were denied after a first hearing, have received initial file review, and are awaiting decision (ISNs 63, 685, 1463, 3148).
    •   2 detainees were denied after a second hearing, and are awaiting file review (ISNs 28, 841).
    •   1 detainee was denied after a first hearing, was denied after a third file review, and is awaiting a fourth file review (ISN 242).
    •   1 detainee was denied after a first hearing, was denied after a first file review, and is awaiting a second file review, which has been scheduled (ISN 569).
    •   2 detainee were denied after a first hearing, were denied after a first file review, and are awaiting a second file review (ISNs 1453, 10025).
    •   3 detainees were denied after a first hearing and are awaiting initial file reviews, which have been scheduled (ISNs 682, 708, 1460).
    •   9 detainees were denied after a first hearing and are awaiting initial file reviews (ISNs 1456, 1461, 10016, 10017, 10019, 10021, 10022, 10023, 10029).

For more details, see the PRB web pages tracking detainees’ initial hearings, file reviews, and second hearings.

Cleared Detainee Data

3 of the 5 cleared detainees remaining at the base were cleared by the Obama Task Force.  The other 2 were cleared by the PRB:

  •  1 is a Yemeni approved for “conditional detention” by the Obama Task Force (Tawfiq al Bihani, ISN 893)
  •  2 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer by the Obama Task Force (ISNs 38 (Ridah bin Aleh al Yazidi, Tunisia), 309 (Mjuayn al-Din Jamal al-Din Abd al Fadhil Abd al Sattar, unknown/UAE))
  •  2 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer after a first PRB hearing* (ISNs 244 (Abdul Latif Nassir, Morocco), 694 (Sufyian Barhoumi, Algeria))

*Barhoumi was previously referred for prosecution by the Obama Task Force.  Nassir was slated for indefinite detention.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Proud To Be Marching Today

Although  I was not in DC-- not even in Chicago- but I did manage to find a march in Northern Michigan. Several thousand strong in a relatively small and conservative part of the state. Unfortunately the local newspaper couldn't be bothered covering the march so I have no local newsstories or photos to share. I was going to post the great song-- "I aint a marchin any more....." but I think I will be marching quite a bit in the near future.

So let's go with this:

post inaugural blues

Thursday, January 19, 2017

And to the women protesting....

Inaugural Blues-- Con't