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

Saturday, February 2, 2019

YEAR 18---

Nothing changes --- 

Read the latest from "camp justice" here.

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Dream

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

From our friends down under at Justinian....

Although not exactly on Gitmo, sometimes you have to be flexible....

Unqualified judges continue to receive important federal judicial appointments, e.g, to US Courts of Appeal. Some are scorned by the ABA, as they have tried few cases and can't write intelligible opinions.  
A few party loyalists already on the federal bench are contributing to Republican mischief, e.g, in Texas, where District Judge Reed O'Connor, appointed by G.W. Bush, accepted an "off-the-wall argument" that Obamacare is unconstitutional, simply because the mandate requiring people to have health insurance was repealed. More here.   
The decision is widely seen as partisan judicial activism: the judge is a favourite of Republicans who forum-shop for desired but politically-controversial rulings. 
O'Connor previously issued a number of orders against Obama initiatives and, in one startling decision, found that the 40-year old Indian Child Welfare Act, favouring adoptions by Native-Americans of their own kin, discriminated against non-indigenous Americans.  
*   *   *
Barr: a lot of time in the top paddock
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was also let go by Trump, in much the way the one-time reality TV star disposed of "losers" on The Apprentice
Replacing the AG offers Mr Trump another chance to hobble DoJ's investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, newly confirmed in two reports commissioned by a bipartisan US senate.
Trump's choice for acting AG, Matthew Whitaker, has long opposed the Mueller investigation he would be overseeing. The DoJ Office of Legal Counsel attempted to justifyhis appointment, but there was an ethics review. Whitaker then rejected his own department's finding that he should recuse himself from involvement in the Mueller investigation based on previous prejudicial remarks.
Now there's a nominee for permanent AG, bad as the old one, and it's sad news for Guantanameros: William Barr was AG for Bush père when the notorious internment camp was first set up.  Barr's anti-Mueller views are well known; last year he sent an unsolicited memo to DOJ arguing for presidential immunity from many criminal laws, including obstruction of justice 

Friday, January 11, 2019

And to Razak Ali and the other men...

I will not give up...

To the mothers of the men being held at Guantanamo...

I usually play this song on this blog on mother's day but with my client (and the remaining men) in their 18th year without charge it somehow felt right to play this today.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

An insiders look at Gitmo....


What does the naval station at Guantánamo Bay look like? How does it feel to visit the men detained in the prison? Just two of the questions our Advocacy Program Manager Aliya Hussain asked Senior Staff Attorney Wells Dixon and Senior Managing Attorney Shayana Kadidal in “Close and personal with Guantánamo,” the 10th episode of “The Activist Files.” Wells and Shayana have been working with clients in Gitmo for more than a decade and give us an insider look into what Guantánamo was and what it has become.
From the food options on the island to the experience of meeting a client for the first time while having to deliver them shocking news, our lawyers explain why it’s crucial to keep fighting against the continued indefinite detention of Muslim men detained at Guantánamo without charge or fair trial.
TOMORROW IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: Join us for two important events to mark the 17th anniversary of the prison’s opening: Congressional briefing on Guantánamo and afternoon rally to close Guantánamo and call for a stop to the cruelty, fear, racism, and Islamophobia perpetuated by this administration.