Monday, January 26, 2015

Way to go Greece...


In 2016 the wealthiest 1% will own half of the worlds wealth. Unless the people say "no."  I hope the Greek people are the first of many....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Roger Fitch and Our Friends Down Under

At Justinian......

The torture chronicles

Splendid properties and the good life for the CIA's leading torturers ... Rectal rehydration deemed a normal medical procedure ... Feinstein report conveniently colour coded countries that hosted torture camps ... Blue, Black, Violet and Green ... Life at the Salt Pit ... Roger Fitch files from Washington  
A NEW year brings new challenges to the justice system in the US.
At Just Security blog, Jennifer Daskal has a list of the most important "national security" cases to watch in 2015, while Steve Vladeck gives his picks for 2014's "national security heroes," i.e. human rights upholders, national security having rather a bad name at the moment. 
Indeed, some things are looking up. There's even talk of observing the Geneva Conventions, with an end to military detentions linked to the Afghan war, now officially over.  
Significantly, the Supreme Court has never ruled that Congress's 2001 "Authorisation to Use Military Force" (AUMF) applies outside the Afghan adventure. 
In the court's 2004 Hamdi decision, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said: 
"The United States may detain, for the duration of these hostilities, individuals legitimately determined to be Taliban combatants who 'engaged in an armed conflict against the United States.' If the record establishes that United States troops are still involved in active combat in Afghanistan, those detentions are part of the exercise of 'necessary and appropriate force', and therefore are authorized by the AUMF."
It may not be easy to dispose of the remaining Guantanameros, some held over 13 years. Will Obama release them? Even his most liberal supporters continue to prattle about men "too dangerous to release" - history and Geneva be damned.

READ THE REST HERE....

Stand with Shaker....

Shaker Aamer is a british resident who has been cleared for release since 2007. The brits have refused to ask for his return and so he sits. Earlier this month Prime Minister Cameron met with Obama and I guess he finally asked for Shaker's return. According to reports Obama has now prioritized the release of Shaker. [sigh... I remember when Obama prioritized the closing of Guantanamo back in 2009...]
Anyway, the "stand with Shaker" campaign is going strong- I wanted to put the actual video of Roger Waters on this page but since I don't facebook I can only give you a link.. It's worth the watch as Roger of Pink Floyd fame reads a letter written by Shaker. Its nice to see that Shaker apparently still has a sense of humor.
And if you can check out the "stand with Shaker" campaign here and add your voice to the campaign.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Peyton Place-- Guantanamo style.....

For those too young to remember Peyton Place (a TV show from the late 60's- early 70's) google it ...(and for the many of you who were not privy to US TV back in those days.... let me just tell you it was a trashy show).. and you will soon realize that it is more than appropriate to talk about Peyton Place in relation to the recent events in Gitmo....
Seems that the military commander of the "town" of Guantanamo was having an affair with a woman who worked for him...and the woman's husband turned up dead yesterday in the waters surrounding Guantanamo..... you can read more here... if you want to....

U.S. Admits that Australian Detainee Hicks is INNOCENT....

It seems that the US government has admitted that former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks is innocent and his conviction in 2007 for providing material support for terrorism is invalid. Read more about this development here .
Hicks was a prisoner at Guantanamo for more than 5 years- subjected to torture ( including, but not limited to long term solitary confinement) and then released to Australia under a gag order that prohibited him from criticizing his prime minister who happened to be the friend of gw bush at the time... and who was coincidently up for reelection. Fortunately he lost the election.... 

More later. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First Published Book by Current Gitmo Inmate is out....

You can actually read the handwritten manuscript here.  Here is where you can get more information about the book and information about the purchase of the book-- it is a website dedicated to the book and the man-Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

Some commentary on the book is here.

His story is not that unusual for a Guantanamo inmate. What is unusual is that it is being told while he is still being held.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Al-Marri is returned to Qatar

The saga of Al-Marri is now over. Al-Marri was in the U.S. legally- on a student visa here in Illinois. He was first held by the military as an enemy combatant and detained in the U.S. and then turned over to the Feds for prosecution. He served 13 years in prison. Over the weekend he was returned to Qatar after completing his sentence. Read more about the Al-Marri saga here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Did Gitmo "Suicides" Cover Up Murder?

This is a question many of have been asking since the three men died in 2006- just before my first trip to the base to visit my clients. Everything about their deaths was and is suspicious and I have written about this many times over the years. Now Joseph Hickman,  a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who was stationed in Guantánamo Bay from March 2006 to March 2007 has written a book about this--Murder at Camp Delta--which has just been published. You can also hear him on Democracy Now here.

H/O to W.A. again....

Guantanamo Diary

The guardian has an amazing series from the diary of Ould Slahi a current detainee at Guantanamo. Part of the story has to be how Ould was able to tell his story from inside Guantanamo. The diary is due to be published next week. Here is the description by the Guardian:

"The groundbreaking memoir of a current Guantánamo inmate that lays bare the harrowing details of the US rendition and torture programme from the perspective of one of its victims is to be published next week after a six-year battle for the manuscript to be declassified."

Guantánamo Diary, the first book written by a still imprisoned detainee, is being published in 20 countries and has been serialised by the Guardian amid renewed calls by civil liberty campaigners for its author’s release.

H/O to W.A. for alerting me to this.....

Thursday, January 15, 2015

AND FOR THOSE IN THE CHICAGO AREA....

 I will be speaking with Andy Worthington on thursday evening- come and join us and share ideas for ending this atrocity called Guantanamo.

Thursday January 15, 7pm: Close Guantánamo – End Torture, with Andy Worthington, Candace Gorman and Debra Sweet Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois 60605. For this event in Chicago, Andy is joined by Guantánamo lawyer Candace Gorman and Debra Sweet, the national director of the World Can’t Wait. See the Facebook page here. This event is organized by Chicago World Can’t Wait. If you can, please also join the Rally to protest a 14th year of Guantanamo, torture and indefinite detention at 4.30pm at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60603. -

Big Surprise....well not really.

In other news-- the CIA did an investigation of itself and determined that it did nothing wrong when it broke into Senate computers to spy on the Senates investigation of torture of detainees at Guantanamo (and elsewhere)... Read about the conclusion of the CIA investigation here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 men transferred today. Updated

Four to Oman. One to Estonia.
122 still at Guantanamo.
Hopefully I will have more information on these men who were released tomorrow.
Some information on the men here.


Of the 122 men still in the prison, 54 are cleared, 58 are awaiting clearance, and 10 are in the military commission system.


Of the 54 cleared, 47 (87%) are Yemenis and 7 are non-Yemenis.  The awaiting-clearance category remains at 26 Yemenis and 32 non-Yemenis.
(Thanks to fellow Gitmo attorney Brian Foster for keeping track of the men held for all of us--he also has great charts showing the demographics but I haven't figure out a way to paste it into this blog)

TWO RATHER DISTURBING PIECES OF NEWS

First, the ACLU describes a section of the torture summary where it is admitted that U.S. prison officials rubber stamped "the salt pit"-- a CIA dungeon prison in Afghanistan where individuals were kept in completely dark solitary cells chained to the wall or floor with a bucket for their waste.

And this depressing news about guantanamo child detainee Omar Khadr who is going blind in his only eye.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 11th- the start of the 14th year

I didn't have a chance to remark about the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo yesterday. Let me remark about it now.
Not only are the men at guantanamo now starting their 14th year but for many of the men- including my client Razak Ali- there is no end in sight. It has been six years since Obama made the promise to close the place within one year and it was apparent to many of us- based on the protocol Obama set in place to close Guantanamo- that it would take a lot longer than one year. It shouldn't have taken a whole year-- nevertheless more than six years-- but immediately Obama squandered the good will of the world and the only real chance he had to close the place by setting up an unwinable approach.
But even in our worst nightmares none of us thought it would take more than six years and none of us thought that Obama would continue with the illegal policy of indefinitely holding men without charge.
Yes, this has been a learning experience for many of us...

So, if you are in the Chicago area I will be speaking with Andy Worthington on thursday evening- come and join us and share ideas for ending this atrocity called Guantanamo.

Thursday January 15, 7pm: Close Guantánamo – End Torture, with Andy Worthington, Candace Gorman and Debra Sweet Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois 60605. For this event in Chicago, Andy is joined by Guantánamo lawyer Candace Gorman and Debra Sweet, the national director of the World Can’t Wait. See the Facebook page here. This event is organized by Chicago World Can’t Wait. If you can, please also join the Rally to protest a 14th year of Guantanamo, torture and indefinite detention at 4.30pm at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60603. -

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The forever prisoners at Guantanamo.

One of whom is my client Razak Ali....Al Jazeera takes a look at this illegal policy.