Thursday, October 16, 2014

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.....

UN REPORT FINDS MASS SURVEILLANCE VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND PRIVACY RIGHTS

A link to the report is here and the links below are attached for those interested in the news story as published by Mr. Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept (previously with The Guardian).

..

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/10/15/un-report-human-rights-terrorism/

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cert Denied

A disappointing end to the latest saga in Razak Ali's fight for freedom. The Supreme Court last week denied the cert petition. As I mentioned earlier the chances were pretty slim to start with but I hung my hope on the Court feeling the need to address the issue of "indefinite detention" "guilt by guesthouse" and/or the legality of detaining Razak in Pakistan under the AUMF. I have had alot on my plate these last few months and I wish I could have put more time on the petition but it is what it is. I will now have to figure out my next moves for my unfortunate client.
Stay tuned......

Saturday, October 4, 2014

From Our Friends Down Under at Justinian

From Roger Fitch and our Friends at Justinian

Click here to read the whole article..

Alien Tort law gives a leg-up to Abu Ghraib victims ... Preview of new Supreme Court term ... DoJ's misuse of state secrets privilege ... US ranking of billionaires according to their political influence ... Latest report on judicial corruption ... Roger Fitch, Our Man in Washington, reports 
Alien Tort cases reinstated by 4th Circuit
HURRAH, the Alien Tort Statute lives again!  
This 1789 Act of the young American republic was used to hold US-based corporations to account for their foreign depredations, until the Supreme Court in its 2012 Kiobel decision ruled that overseas conduct must "touch and concern" the US with "sufficient force" to overcome a presumption against extraterritorial application of the statute.
As recently as July, the reliably-conservative 11th Circuit ruled, in the Chiquita case, that there was no ATS jurisdiction over a US corporation for its admitted misdeeds in Columbia.
Now, following Mr Obama's judicial appointments, the formerly conservative 4th Circuit has reinstated, en banc, ATS cases brought by former Abu Ghraib prisoners against the mercenary torturers, sorry, contract interrogators, hired by the US to provide "services" at the infamous Iraqi jail.  
Here's the latest twist in Al Shimari v CACI.  
It's hoped that the 4th Circuit's change of heart will spread across the Potomac to the DC Circuit, where there's been a request for en banc reconsideration of the civil case of Allaithi v Rumsfeld.
That case notoriously found that military wrongdoers acted within the scope of their employment, and anyway, Guantánamo internees weren't "persons" under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Another DC case where en banc will be sought - now that Obama's four appointments have broken a right-wing Republican stranglehold on the circuit - is the Guantánamo counsel access case, Hatim.  
Yet there's a problem: the panel decision being appealed included a Democrat, Chief Judge Merrick Garland. 
Steve Vladeck has more.  
After his en banc partial win, the Guantanamero Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul is making another attempt before a DC Circuit panel to have his "conspiracy" conviction(s) thrown out.  
Here's the supporting amicus brief of the National Institute of Military Justice. Steve Vladeck comments.  
David Glazier also has a brief. Others are here, and none of them support the government. 

Click here to read the rest.....

FORCE FEEDING HEARING OPEN TO PUBLIC

The force-feeding hearing is before Judge Kessler at the DC District Court this Monday and Tuesday (October 6 and 7) at 10 AM. If you are in the DC area please find some time to go and watch for a few minutes and show your support for the men illegally detained at Guantanamo.

TWO IMPORTANT RULINGS

Friday was a busy day. Judge Kessler stepped up to the plate and not only ordered that the force feeding hearing be made public (she specifically found the gamesmanship of the government of waiting until less than two weeks before the hearing to request that the hearing be done behind closed doors "deeply troubling"). The good judge also ordered that the video tapes of the force feeding of Dhiab be unsealed and available to the press. The judge deserves credit for these two orders as all of the judges in the DC District Court of late have side stepped their judicial roles in the Guantanamo cases apparently waiting for something to happen in the political process. This lack of action by the judges has been worrisome-- maybe some of the other judges will decide to also step up to the plate and hold the government accountable for conduct in the Gitmo proceedings.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

secrecy please.....

The government wants to keep the hearing on the force feedings at Guantanamo secret. Why? The government says it is important for "national security." The rest of us say "bullshit"--they don't want the ongoing torture of these men to be public. Intercept has more here.

Moazamm is Free Again....

Since being released from Guantanamo Moazamm Begg has been a steadfast fighter for those still held at Guantanamo. Earlier this year after returning from Syria he was again charged with engaging in terrorists activities. The charges have now been dropped. Read more here...and here and here.
check out his organization "Cage"  here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Court Again Rejects Shawali Khan's Habeas Petition

I had the honor of helping in Shawali Khan's habeas hearing and the fact that Mr. Khan is still being held at Guantanamo is a travesty. 

"In a 26-page decision dated Sept. 26, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates acknowledged that “the government’s case for continued detention of Khan has been weakened slightly by recent developments.” In particular, the government has stopped relying on statements once made by Khan following his capture."  [I would just note that it would be more accurate to say that the government stopped relying on statements that Mr. Khan disputed every saying....."] Read more here.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/29/241359_court-rejects-again-challenge.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mori's book is out.....


Michael Mori, the former US Marine lawyer who spent four years defending David Hicks released a book this week:
In the company of cowards: Bush, Howard and injustice at Guantanamo, "a compelling and sobering account of a western democratic government losing its head and sacrificing principles in the cause of national security."
Read more here.
Good luck trying to buy it in these United States....



Kafkaesque is really the only name for it...

And like my remaining client who will never be tried in the military commission or in a criminal trial....--

 “The more guilty you are, the better off you are,” says Bogucki. “The more innocent you are, the worse your situation is. If the government has no evidence against you, they won’t take you to court. You stay in Guantanamo forever.”
Read the whole story at the link...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jose Padilla- an american citizen tortured on american soil

I would be amiss in not addressing the disgraceful decision of the Judge in Jose Padilla's case to increase his sentence to 30 years. I will let Andy Worthington tell the story while I hang my head in shame at all of the judges involved in this case. Every American should be ashamed of what happened to this man but instead the American public just keeps the blinders on...

Obama's new rules on detainee detention--- giving a thumbs up on abusive tactics

Jeff Kaye has this summary of new department of defense directives for prisoners like the Guantanamo prisoners. The last version was dated back in 2006 so if anyone had doubts that Obama does not own Guantanamo this should put that assertion to rest.

A summary of Jeff's article by Jeff--

The new directive expands upon what “humane treatment” means for those caught in its “detainee program.” It also adds an item about the collection of biometric identification information (BII). Such information “will be collected from all detainees in accordance with DoDD 8521.01E.” In addition, it includes a statement of how long a detainee can be held, which appears to operationalize Obama’s policy of indefinite detention of detainees. Finally, the directive greatly expands on the issue of who can be held, how charges can be brought against detainees, and what procedures are necessary for a detainee’s release. (This article will not cover the very last item.)

Steve Vladek at Just Security has more here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More on the Gitmo nurse who refused to force feed detainees....

Jeff Kaye has an update on the nurse who refused to violate the oath he took as a medical provider---seems the military has decided not to court martial him but they are doing an "administrative review"-- so his worries are not over and he could still be discharged and lose all benefits. Read more about his plight here

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lest we forget....

September 12, 1977.

9-11

(SORRY ERASED THIS BY MISTAKE).  As usual I turn to the talking dog for the 9-11 message as he was a block from the twin towers at the time (as opposed to Mr. Obama and the other hysteria mongers).  Here is what the talking dog has to say.